clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

David DeJesus and the Best Possible Weakness

New, comments

The Tampa outfielder can't really hit left-handers. Lucky for him he doesn't really have to.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ready for the most egocentric thing you've ever seen?

As of this moment, David DeJesus is 3% owned in Yahoo leagues, and I don't know why.

-- Daniel Kelley, Sept. 4, 2013

That's right, I'm quoting myself! Get off me, modest people.

Okay, so the only thing that has changed between that quote and now is that DeJesus is now owned in two percent of Yahoo! leagues. (Also, I got better at style-guide stuff, so I now write out "percent" and add the exclamation point to "Yahoo.")

This despite the fact that DeJesus, who was largely a platoon player in years past, is basically full-time now in Tampa Bay; he's played in 45 of the Rays' 53 games this season, and started the vast majority of those. He's sitting at a .271/.358/.474 season line with five home runs. His 10.6 walk percentage is a career high, while his 13.9 strikeout percentage is his lowest since 2010.

Here's a true thing about David DeJesus: He can't really hit lefties (.289/.365/.448 career against righties; .252/.322/.342 against lefties). But here's a true thing about baseball in 2014: There aren't many good lefties.

We're nearly a third of the way into the season, and so far, 25 left-handed pitchers are qualified for the ERA title. That includes Martin Perez (out for the year), Robbie Ross (in the bullpen), Franklin Morales (bad at baseball). It includes 10 National Leaguers and DeJesus' Tampa Bay teammate David Price. Right now, an American League lefty hitter has to worry about Mark Buehrle, C.J. Wilson, Jon Lester, and a handful of mediocrity. Basically, if you were to pick a weakness to have on offense this season, it would be "struggles against lefties." Sure, there are LOOGYs and other relievers against whom you'd pinch-hit for DeJesus, but I'm not advocating for him as the starting left-fielder for your 2014 SB Nation All-Stars; I'm merely saying DeJesus is a near-everyday player whose weakness largely goes unexploited.

A season ago, I advocated DeJesus as a late-season "Hey, it can't hurt" waiver-wire option. Basically, he was three percent owned, and I thought it needed to jump to, I don't know, 20 or 25. This season, though, he's at two percent, and that number needs to be something like 50 at least. DeJesus isn't an end-of-the-roster flyer or a worst-case-scenario insurance policy. He's a full-time player who hits well enough to be owned.