1
Photo Credit: milb.com

Meet the Prospect: Alex De Jesus

After scouring three and a half hours for Alex De Jesus clips on MiLB TV, I can tell you that the 20-year-old is the real deal.

The reaction to this deal at the deadline was one of sheer anger due to losing Nick Frasso for immediate pitching help in Mitch White. However, it seems to me that many missed just how good a prospect is that they got in return. Below is the thread of each hit on MiLB TV.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Losing Nick Frasso is a big deal, so what does Alex De Jesus do well to soften the blow of losing the 23-year-old righty? Well, here’s a thread of every single hit that the 20-year-old has had in 2022.

Let’s look at a table at his pre-season grades from Fangraphs and MLB Pipeline.

Tool MLB Pipeline Fangraphs (Present Value/Future Value)
Hit 45 30/35
Power 55

Game Power: 35/55

Raw Power: 50/60

Speed 40 40/30
Field 45 40/50
Arm 65 N/A
Overall 45 35+

He started his 2022 with the Dodgers Low A team, where he slashed .259/.398/.483 in 176 plate appearances. He added seven homers and had an 18.2 BB% and a 28.4 K%. This led to a wRC+ of 131.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What’s interesting to me though is his batted ball profile. In Low A, he actually hit the ball the opposite way (38.7%) more than he pulled the ball (34.4%). He also went back up the middle 26.9% of the time.

Out of all his batted balls, he hit a fly ball 43.3% of the time, and 17.9% of those were homers, while only 7.7% of them were popups.

De Jesus also had a line drive percentage of 25.6%. Per Fangraphs, a ground ball results in an average of .239, a fly ball results in an average of .207. However, a line drive has a batting average of around .685, meaning that a high LD% tends to have a batting average.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Also of note is the fact that this was in 2014 when the shift just started to become popular. Despite that, line drives tend to have the highest batting average amongst batted balls. If a batter has a high LD%, their BABIP isn’t luck as well.

De Jesus was promoted to High A, where he’s slashed .282/.376/.421 in 226 plate appearances. He’s still hitting homers (he has four), but his 12.4 BB% has dropped, while his 28.8 K% has remained the same. He has a wRC+ of 124.

As for his batted ball profile, he pulls the ball a little bit more at 42% of the time, while keeping his opposite field percentage around the same in Low A at 38.2%.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

De Jesus’ line drive percentage has dropped to 23.3%, while his ground ball percentage has raised to 42.6%. His flyball percentage has also dropped to 34.1% of the time, while his infield flyball percentage has increased to 11.4%.

It’s also interesting to note that his home run to fly ball ratio has dropped from 17.9% in Low A to 9.1% in High A.

Brennan’s scouting report:

When I did my Top 20 Jays prospects before the start of the season, I relied heavily on other sites, as I didn’t get to watch a ton of minor league games. Starting with this article, I will also give you my own scouting report, which I will also do for my midseason Top 60.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Keep in mind, that data and stats come first and foremost to me, as that reflects how their tools are progressing on the field. Ceiling, floor, and tools come second but are still very important.

The 20-year-old shortstop definitely deserves a higher hit tool in Fangraphs’ mid-season update. He does strike out a lot (around 28.5% of the time), but he is also able to take a walk between the two levels.

A note about his strikeouts, it’s not like how Orelvis Martinez strikes out. Per his Prospects Live bio, he is very selective with the pitches he swings at, so he strikes out looking often on borderline pitches (like Cavan Biggio). 

While this isn’t great, it also shows his eye at the plate. Furthermore, he also has “suboptimal contact” in those late counts, which happen to be hit for ground balls. Prospects Live notes that he should be more aggressive as he tends to barrel up balls quite a bit.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sticking with the hit tool, De Jesus uses all sides of the field. If the pitch is up and in, he has enough power and high enough bat speed to absolutely demolish the ball pull side. However, if the ball is on the outside, he can very easily shoot the ball the other way while maintaining exit velocities.

As for power, it’s definitely there. I’ve already shown a few clips of his homers, but here’s a 452 blast (in a game in which he hit for the cycle). If the ball is inside and he feels like swinging for the fences, the ball is gone if he connects.

At 6’2, 170 pounds, there is still plenty of room to add muscle (even if he probably has added weight). This plays into the next tool, speed.

Fangraphs projects that he’ll eventually have a future value speed tool of just 30, which may be the case as he adds on more muscle. De Jesus doesn’t steal bases, but from the few times he has to run, I’d say he’s at the very least an average runner as it stands.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I also haven’t watched him play defense (yet), so I’ll rely on Prospects Live scouting report. He’s not a twitchy athlete and has “meh” range. Prospects Live notes that he isn’t a shortstop, which is backed up by only spending 22 innings at the position since his promotion to High A. For context, he has spent 342.2 innings at third with the Loons.

Speaking of which, he does have the tendency to make errors, as he has 12 errors at third base in a rather short amount of time. However, he has an above-average arm (MLB Pipeline gives it a 65!) and smooth actions, so he could potentially play third and be an average defender.

Interestingly, his arm may play in a corner outfield position as well, but that all depends on his range.

Edit: I didn’t have this information when I published this article, but there is some interesting information regarding Alex De Jesus.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I hate when people use Baseball Savant percentiles. However, there’s something that peaked my interest with De Jesus’ page.

What’s interesting about this is that he only has a 15.9% chase rate, which is in the 97th percentile of minor leagues. However, he has a 28.6 K% rate, which is in the 27th percentile.

This means that he’s not swinging on borderline pitches WAY more than what I thought.

So what’s his future like?:

De Jesus has been assigned to the Vancouver Canadians and should debut there by the start of the next series on Tuesday. There’s a good chance he finishes the rest of the season with the High A team, before potentially starting the 2023 season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Double A.

Although I didn’t watch his strikeouts, his next step is to drop that K%, which in a weird turn of events, could happen if he swung at borderline pitches.

He has a good hitting tool that allows him to shoot the ball the other way, and has plenty of pop which could become even better in the future.

Defensively, his home is likely to be third or a corner outfielder, but that all depends on what the Blue Jays wish to do with him.

Either way, I believe De Jesus is a great prospect that you should keep an eye on.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Each night, I clip minor league highlights, so if you want to learn more about De Jesus as well as their other minor leaguers, give me a follow!


POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO