Jesús Alberto Ustariz Luis
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 192 lb.
Jesús Ustariz has played in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, USA, Spain (where he won a Triple Crown), Italy and San Marino and for the Spanish national team.
Ustariz was signed by Detroit Tigers scouts Pedro Chavez and Oscar Garcia. He hit .281/.372/.363 for the 2010 VSL Tigers. For the same club in 2011, he improved to .324/.386/.455. He tied Wilmer Dominguez for 7th in the Venezuelan Summer League in average and tied Kelly Aponte for 8th in slugging.
After alternating between 1B and 3B his first two seasons, he was almost exclusively a first baseman with the 2012 GCL Tigers. He hit .282/.379/.411 with more walks (26) than whiffs (25). He led Gulf Coast League first basemen with 424 chances, 393 putouts, 37 double plays and a .993 fielding percentage. He split 2013 between the GCL Tigers (.302/.410/.481 in 42 G) and Connecticut Defenders (.205/.326/.359 in 11 G).
The St. Louis Cardinals took him in the AAA portion of the 2013 Rule V Draft. He hit .242/.302/.345 for the 2014 Johnson City Cardinals. He then played for the Spanish national team in the 2014 European Championship, driving in three runs in his first game for them. He hit .333/.471/.667 with 7 runs and 6 RBI in eight games, starting at 1B for them, as they won the Bronze. In a crucial 4-3 win over Germany, he played a role in a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the 8th, singling off Luke Sommer and scoring on a Franklin Tavarez hit to cut it to 3-2. He was second on Spain in OPS, behind Oscar Angulo.
With Johnson City in '15, he was 2 for 4 with a walk, double, run and two RBI. He was back with Spain in March 2016 for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, starting in left. Statistics are unavailable for that event as the geniuses at MLB erased the historical data from their website. That summer, he signed with Spain's Marlins Puerto Cruz and hit .30/.520/.663 with 32 runs and 30 RBI in 28 games, rapping 14 doubles. He had 67 putouts, 8 assists and no errors. He was 4th in the league in average (between Angulo and Leopoldo Correa), second in slugging (.079 behind Blake Ochoa), first in OBP (.008 ahead of Ochoa), tied Yancarlo Franco for the most runs, was 10th in hits, ranked third in RBI, led in doubles (two ahead of Correa and Victor Velazquez), tied for second in homers (4, 4 behind Ochoa), was 4th in total bases, led in walks (26, one ahead of Ochoa), was third with six times plunked, tied for the most sac flies (3) and had the third-most chances of someone who did not make an error.
The Caracas native started at first for Spain in the 2016 European Championship. He had three hits in their opener, including a solo shot off Gregg Mareels of Belgium. He hit a three-run shot off Greece's Dimitri Kourtis the next game and was at .286/.355/.571 with six RBI in eight games entering the finals. He tied for second in homers (2, two behind Kalian Sams), was 3rd with 57 putouts (trailing Curt Smith and Max Boldt) and tied Jakub Hajtmar for the most double plays (9). Spain played for the European Championship title for the first time since 1955, facing the Netherlands in the title game. He hit 6th and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Rob Cordemans, Lars Huijer and Shairon Martis in a 3-2 loss.
He fell to .281/.461/.500 with 30 walks, 32 runs and 25 RBI in 28 games in 2017 but it certainly helped the Marlins win the title. He was 8th in the league in OBP, 6th in runs, tied Roibert Decena for 9th in RBI, tied for 5th in homers (5) and was third in walks (after Ochoa and Edison Valerio). He moved to ASD Rimini for '18. In the 2018 European Champions Cup, he hit a big two-run homer off Rob Cordemans in a close win over the Amsterdam Pirates. He hit .294/.400/.471 for the event. He turned 7 double plays, second, one behind Kenny Berkenbosch. The 2018 Super6 was the first Super6 tournament. He had the first triple in event annals when he hit one off Belgium's Kenny Vandenbranden. He hit .333/.478/.657 with five walks and six runs in five games for Spain in a high-offense tournament. He was 8th in runs, second in walks (3 behind Petr Čech) and first with 36 putouts (one more than Smith and Jamie Verheyleweghen). For Rimini, he batted .340/.445/.540 with 28 RBI in 28 games in the 2018 Serie A1. He was among the leaders in slugging (7th, between Alexander Russo and Nathanael Batista), OBP (6th, between Aldo Koutsoyanopulos and Osman Marval), RBI (2nd, 3 behind Marval), doubles (11, 1st, one ahead of Giuseppe Mazzanti), total bases (54, 6th, between Mazzanti and Leo Rodríguez), walks (15, tied for 7th with Edgard Montiel and Nico Garbella), putouts (213, 3rd, behind Mario Trinci and Marval) and double plays (20, 1st, one more than Robel García).
Ustariz switched Italian clubs in 2019, moving to Nettuno. He posted a .324/.480/.581 batting line with 22 runs, 23 RBI and 23 walks in 22 games. He was 9th in slugging (between Federico Giordani and John Polonius), 3rd in slugging (trailing Renzo Martini and Alex Romero), 6th in runs, tied for 4th in RBI (with Mattia Reginato, Leo Rodríguez and Ericson Leónora), tied for 5th in doubles (7), 1st in walks (two more than Mazzanti), 3rd in putouts (after Marval and Al Reda) and 1st in double plays turned (20, one more than Rolexis Molina). In the 2019 European Championship, he had three runs in a crucial 5-4 win over Czechia. He hit .333/.379/.741 with 8 runs, 3 homers and 8 RBI in 7 games entering the medal games. He went deep off Ben Van Nuffel in continuing to rough up Belgian hurlers and also homered off Austria's Christoph Vanas and the Czech team's Radim Chroust. He was among the leaders in runs (tied Sams for 1st), total bases (20, tied Jordan Serena for 7th), homers (tied for 5th), putouts (57, 3rd, behind Smith and Alex Crosby) and fielding (60 chances at 1.000, 6 more than Ochoa). In the Bronze Medal Game, he homered off Eric Brodkowitz and was 1 for 4 with two walks in a 16-11 win over Israel. Spain qualified for the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier, he was 4 for 15 with a double and a RBI then was suspended for his part in a brawl with Italy.
It is unclear where, if anywhere, he played in 2020. In '21, he hit .593/.676/1.222 with 15 doubles, 12 homers, 22 walks, 44 runs and 42 RBI in 22 games in a dominating return to the Marlins Puerto Cruz as they won the Spanish Baseball League title. He led the league in average (.042 ahead of Edgar Rondon), slugging (.235 ahead of Valerio), runs, hits, RBI (6 ahead of Valerio), doubles, homers (tying Valerio), total bases (99, 23 more than Valerio) in taking a Triple Crown. He was also second in OBP (.011 behind Rondon) and tied for 6th in walks. In the 2021 European Championship, he hit .375/.444/.583 with seven RBI in six games and handling 34 chances error-free at first. Continuing his bombardment of Belgian pitchers, his homer in the event came off Brendan Verspreet. He had two hits in the Bronze Medal Game but Spain was shut out by Italy.
His next stop was ASD San Marino in 2022. He batted .317/.475/.415, finishing among the leaders in RBI (4th), runs (4th, between Leo Ferrini and Koutsoyanopulos) and walks (1st, 7 ahead of Ferrini). San Marino won the 2022 Italian Series and he scored the only run in Game 3, drawing a Marc-André Habeck walk and scoring on a hit by Ortwin Pieternella Jr. He then played for Spain in the 2022 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He started the winning rally against South Africa with a three-bagger off Jared Elario then was driven in by Chris Kwitzer. His three-run homer off the Czech Republic's Marek Minařík started the scoring in a 21-7 rout. He scored three runs and drove in two in a 10-9 loss to Great Britain with a spot in the 2023 World Baseball Classic for the victors. Spain then fall short in a rematch with the Czechs. He had done his share in the tourney, going 7 for 15 with a double, triple, homer, 3 walks, 6 runs and 8 RBI. He tied Noelvi Marte and Anfernee Seymour for the most runs in the qualifiers, tied for second in hits (2 behind Leonardo Reginatto), tied for the most RBI (with Valerio, Marte and Harry Ford), tied for 8th in walks, tied Justin Connell for 4th in average (among those with 10+ AB), was 6th in OBP (for those with 10+ AB, between Steven Leyton and Justin Wylie), 4th in slugging for those with 10+ AB (between Reginatto and Valerio) and 5th in OPS (again going by 10+ AB, between D'Shawn Knowles and Seymour).
- 2013 Tigers Media Guide
- 2014 European Championship
- 2016 Division de Honor
- 2016 European Championship
- 2017 Division de Honor
- 2018 European Champions Cup
- 2018 Super6
- Wayback Archive, 2018 Serie A1
- Wayback Archive, 2019 Serie A1
- 2019 European Championship
- 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier
- 2021 Spanish Baseball League
- 2021 European Championship
- 2022 Serie A1
- 2022 WBC Qualifiers