Iván DeJesús Jr.
Iván DeJesús Jr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 190 lb.
- High School American Military Academy
- Debut April 1, 2011
- Final Game October 2, 2016
- Born May 1, 1987 in Guaynabo Puerto Rico
The son of Iván DeJesús, Iván DeJesús Jr. made his major league debut in 2011, playing in the majors in 2011-12 and 2015-16. He led the Southern League in OBP in 2008, and came close to having the highest batting average in the PCL in 2017.
DeJesús hit .365 as a high school freshman. The Los Angeles Dodgers took him with the 51st overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft, in the second round. He was signed by scout Manny Estrada for a $675,000 bonus. He split his first pro season between the GCL Dodgers (.339/.389/.380 in 33 games, 8 for 10 in SB attempts) and Ogden Raptors (.208/.296/.222 in 20 games). Baseball America rated him as the #14 prospect in the Gulf Coast League; had he qualified, he would have tied Emmanuel Garcia for third in the GCL in average.
Iván was with the Columbus Catfish in 2006, hitting .277/.361/.327, stealing 16 bases in 21 tries and fielding .957 at shortstop. He led South Atlantic League shortstops in double plays (86) and tied Elvis Andrus for the most putouts (208). Baseball America ranked him as the #6 prospect in the Dodgers chain.
The 20-year-old infielder batted .287/.371/.381 for the Inland Empire 66ers in 2007, but made 30 errors, almost leading California League shortstops. Baseball America rated him as the #13 prospect among LA farmhands and as having the best strike-zone discipline in the system. He was clearly behind Chin-Lung Hu on the Dodger prospect depth chart as Hu was named the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year; over the next year, DeJesús made up significant ground as Hu was injured and Iván played very well.
DeJesús made his AA debut in 2008 with the Jacksonville Suns and produced at a .324/.419/.423 rate. He stole 16 bases in 18 tries, drew 76 walks and scored 91 runs. He led Dodger farmhands in runs and walks. He led the Southern League in OBP and was 5th in batting average. He failed to make the league All-Star team as Alcides Escobar was picked at shortstop. Baseball America rated him the #15 prospect in the SL, between James McDonald and Jake McGee. DeJesús also got to play the entire 2008 Futures Game, batting leadoff and manning second base for the World Team (Elvis Andrus played short). He singled against Clayton Richard in his first at-bat but was erased on a force out hit into by Andrus. In the 3rd, facing Brett Anderson, he flew out to Dexter Fowler. In the 6th, he singled off of Jake Arrieta but was thrown out trying to steal by Taylor Teagarden. He walked against Casey Weathers in the 8th but was stranded at third. He had reached base in 3 of his 4 appearances.
DeJesús was listed on Puerto Rico's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. His 2009 season was all but ended when he broke his right tibia in a spring training "B" game. He made it into 4 games for the AZL Dodgers at the end of the season. In 2010, he played 130 games in AAA for the Albuquerque Isotopes, hitting .296 with 89 runs scored and 70 RBI while playing mainly second base.
DeJesus made his major league debut in the Dodgers' second game of the 2011 season, starting at second base. He went 0 for 3 with a walk against the San Francisco Giants. He played only 17 games in the major leagues that season though, hitting .188 with no extra-base hits. He spent the remainder of the year with Albuquerque, where he hit .310/.389/.432 in 100 games, with 61 runs and 59 RBI. He played another 60 games at Albuquerque in 2012, hitting .295. He spent 6 weeks with the Dodgers from May 20th to the end of June, getting into 23 games, but only 5 of them as a starter. As a result, he only went to bat 33 times, hitting .273 with 3 doubles. On August 25th, he was one of five players sent by the Dodgers to the Boston Red Sox as part of the blockbuster trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to Los Angeles. He played 8 games for Boston late in the season, going hitless in 8 at-bats, with 6 strikeouts. On December 26th, he was involved in another big trade, going to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel and Jerry Sands in return for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.
DeJesus never played in the major leagues for the Pirates, however, spending 2013 with the Indianapolis Indians, where he hit .319 in 103 games. Had he qualified, he would have edged Jeff Kobernus for the 2013 International League batting title by .001. After the season, he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles and played 113 games for the Norfolk Tides, where he hit .282 with 5 homers and 56 RBIs. On August 30th, he was traded yet again, rejoining the Red Sox organization alongside 2B Jemile Weeks in return for IF Kelly Johnson and minor leaguer Michael Almanzar; he played 2 more games that year with the Pawtucket Red Sox, going 1 for 6. He moved once again, after the season, joining the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent.
It took a while, but Ivan finally hit his first major league homer on June 8, 2015, more than four years after his debut, for the Reds against Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies in a 6-4 win. He had been called up just three days earlier after starting the season with the Louisville Bats and hitting .303 in 50 games. Having found his power stroke, he homered again two days later, off Jerome Williams in a 5-2 win over the Phillies. In that game, SS Zack Cozart twisted his ankle and knee in trying to avoid a tag, an injury that opened the door for more playing time for DeJesus. He ended up playing 76 games for the Reds, during which he hit .244 with 10 doubles and 4 homers. He scored 15 runs and drove in 28 while seeing time at five different positions, as Eugenio Suarez got most of the playing time at short in place of Cozart.
Ivan came close to having the highest batting average in the PCL in 2017, finishing with a .345 average, behind batting champ Nick Buss at .348. In 2018 he was in the Boston Red Sox minor league organization and in 2019 he was in independent ball and also played for the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins minor league organizations. He was 4 for 11 for the Puerto Rican national team in the 2019 Premier 12, while his teammates hit a composite .113; taking out DeJesús and Edwin Gómez, Puerto Rico batted .080.
Ivan played winter ball in 2019-20 with the Santurce Crabbers and led the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in batting average during the regular season.  He did not play in the majors in 2020.