Any Room Up There?
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Some call Triple-A baseball the “proving grounds” for many young ball players who are right on the cusp of making it to the Major Leagues but not quite yet. This is the case for Ivan De Jesus.
Throughout the 2014 season, De Jesus has been playing for the Norfolk Tides, Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate. Although he has seen some limited playing time in the Majors with the Dodgers and Red Sox, De Jesus has not been able to sustain the batting numbers necessary to remain in “the show.”
De Jesus is trying to change that this year though. First things first though, he needs to prove to Buck Showalter, Dan Duquette and the scouts that he is ready to play Baltimore baseball.
So far this season, De Jesus has been hitting the ball well and driving in runs to boot. Currently he is batting .294 with a .374 on-base percentage and has driven in 31 runs for the Tides. With only three home runs this season, De Jesus is not a power hitter by any means. Despite this he has managed to hit 15 doubles so far this season.
Although De Jesus has played the majority of his time in Norfolk at the shortstop position, he has also played two games at second base. And with J.J. Hardy holding down the fort at shortstop for Baltimore, the only place I see De Jesus possibly getting some playing time is at second base.
Jonathan Schoop has played the majority of games at second for the O’s this season and, despite his .223 batting average, he will most likely get the most starts at that position simply because of his great defense, strong arm and ability to turn two with such ease.
Thankfully for De Jesus, Schoop is not Cal Ripken and needs a rest every now and then throughout the week. This is where De Jesus may get his sh0t as the back up second baseman. Ryan Flaherty has not impressed anyone with his .207 batting average this season. And many are starting to question as to why he is still on the Orioles active roster. De Jesus may see an opportunity some time in the near future this season to play a few games and see if he can turn a few heads with his bat.
If he can, the Orioles may swap De Jesus for Flaherty and De Jesus may finally find his place on a Major League roster.