The parade of position players continues in the Blue Jays Nation’s Top 50 2023 Preseason prospect list! This time, we’re looking at Alex De Jesus.
Involved in the infamous (for the time being) Mitch White deal, Alex De Jesus has gone under the radar but was a fantastic pickup for the Blue Jays
But first, let’s look at the scouting criteria!
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin would not have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be reviewing their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Alex De Jesus’ career so far:
The first traded prospect on the Blue Jays Nation’s Top 50 Preseason list for 2023, De Jesus signed with the Dodgers during the 2018 international free agency.
He spent his first season, the 2019 season, between the Dodgers Dominican Summer League team and their Arizona Complex League team. He slashed .281/.340/.732 with three homers in 241 plate appearances. He had a 29.9 K% and an 8.3 BB% between the two levels.
As with all minor leagues, he didn’t get to play in the minors in 2020, but he broke out in the 2021 season. With the Dodgers Low-A team as a 19-year-old, he slashed .268/.386/.447 with 12 homers in 422 plate appearances. While his K% remained high (30.3%), his BB% jumped up to an incredible 16.4%
Here's the last one I'll post. This is an oppotaco dinger. pic.twitter.com/JabghPGBAZ
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) August 5, 2022
He repeated the level to start the 2022 season, where he slashed .259/.368/.483 with seven homers in just 176 plate appearances. Moreover, his K% dropped to 28.4%, while his BB% increased to an insane 18.2%. He had a 129 wRC+, which tied his career high dating back to his brief time in the Dominican Summer League.
He was promoted to High-A in the Dodgers system, where he slashed .282/.376/.421 with four homers in 226 plate appearances. His K% of 28.8% remained relatively the same, but his BB% dropped to 12.4%, which is still pretty impressive for a 20-year-old in High-A. He had a 125 wRC+ with the Great Lake Loons.
He and Mitch White were traded to the Jays in exchange for Nick Frasso and Moises Brito at the 2022 trade deadline. De Jesus struggled in his brief time with the High-A Vancouver Canadians, slashing .211/.298/.333 with a career-high 34.6% and an 11.5 BB% for a 79 wRC+.
Stocky build, with muscular legs, beefy torso, and broad shoulders, De Jesus is a prospect that could hit for both power and average. He has great bat-to-ball skills and can shoot the ball to all fields. He has significant raw power and was really able to get a hold of pitches in 2022, paired with a great eye at the plate. His game has some strikeouts, but he is excellent at not swinging at borderline pitches. In the future, he’ll likely come off shortstop and move to the hot corner, where he has a strong arm and decent range. Below average runner.
Where he’ll start in 2023:
It’s likely that De Jesus will start the 2023 season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats as a recently turned 21-year-old. There is a possibility that he could repeat the level in High-A Vancouver, at least to start the season.
Despite the high strikeout rate, De Jesus avoids chasing the ball out of the zone, as you can see in the infographic embedded up top. Regardless, he’ll have to drop his K% if he wishes to reach another gear.
In Friday morning’s article, we’ll look at another prospect who was involved in a trade, and has quite the intriguing makeup, so stay tuned!
In case you missed it:
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Check out Niall O’Donohoe’s work at Csplusbaseball.ca. He provides excellent content over there, focusing on past and present Vancouver Canadians. He also took the picture in the header!