Dodgers shortstop/second baseman Ivan DeJesus finished the season on a 23-game hitting streak, putting the cap on a stellar season for Double-A Jacksonville. DeJesus, 21, came into the season as a light-hitting middle infielder with a good feel for the strike zone and some ability in the field. This season, DeJesus was one of the Southern League's best players, as he hit .324/.419/.423 in 128 games with 76 walks, 81 strikeouts and seven home runs.
Though DeJesus' power projects as fringe-average at best, his ability to draw walks and put the ball in play provide value at an up-the-middle position. At 5-foot-11, 182 pounds, the Puerto Rico native may not stand out physically, but he has gotten the attention of scouts who have noticed improvement in his hitting from last season to this year, as he has shortened his swing and shown a knack for making in-game adjustments.
In the field, the Dodgers have rotated DeJesus between shortstop and second base. While his feet and hands work well and his instincts help his tools play up, De Jesus is only a fringe-average runner, which limits his range, and 17 of his 26 errors this season were throwing errors, which a move to second base could help minimize.
One American League scout felt comfortable with DeJesus at either middle infield position, and liked that the Dodgers were letting him get a taste of both positions.
\"He was their best prospect, their best player by far,\" said the scout. \"He centers the ball with the bat. He's not a real big physical kid, but he's got some bat speed.
\"He hit only about six or eight home runs all year, but he looked like he knew what to do when he got a pitch that he could pull. He's gonna have home run power just to his pull side, like Dustin Pedroia. He got a couple of average fastballs in the middle of the plate, and he didn't foul them off or swing and miss, he drove them pretty deep. He's not gonna be a 20-25 home run middle infielder, but he looks like he knows what to do with it, which is impressive for a young kid.
\"He played shortstop fine. I think it's good for young kids to play more than one position because a lot of times when they come up to the big leagues, they play shortstop their whole life or center field their whole life—you've got to be able to make those changes. He played well at shortstop and at second base. I don't know that he's gonna be a superstar, but he looks to me like he could be a very solid major league middle infielder.\"