In 2018 Jhon De Jesus missed the entire season. He struggled in 2017 at times with the Billings Mustangs, posting a 5.79 ERA in the hitter friendly league. But the scouting report was good for the tall right-handed starter.
Healthy again, the Cincinnati Reds send Jhon De Jesus to join the Dayton Dragons when the 2019 season began. He made his debut on April 6th and fired 5.0 shutout innings with three strikeouts against Bowling Green. Five days later he followed up with a 1-hit, 5.0 shutout inning effort that included seven more strikeouts. It was the third start of April that was a struggle as he allowed two homers and six earned runs in his first home start of the season on the 16th. He rebounded a bit on the road, giving up a run in 4.2 innings to Lake County. April would end with a tough outing at home against Great Lakes on the 27th where he allowed four earned in just 3.0 innings. The inconsistent month saw him post a 4.50 ERA in 22.0 innings with 12 walks and 18 strikeouts.
May kicked off with a solid start in Cedar Rapids, but on the 9th Jhon De Jesus had his worst start of the season. At home against Burlington he only recorded on out as he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He would leave the game with an injury. After walking a batter he called for the trainer and exited the game with a leg injury. Fortunately the injury wasn’t serious and he was back on the mound a week-and-a-half later. He came back and allowed two runs in 5.1 innings to Lake County. He struggled on the 25th against Bowling Greene, giving up seven runs in just 4.0 innings. He completed the month with two earned in 4.2 innings against Landing. Another inconsistent month saw De Jesus post a 7.45 ERA in 19.1 innings with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
For as tough as May was in terms of ERA, June was pretty much the exact opposite. The first two starts of the month came against West Michigan and Jhon De Jesus allowed just one earned run in 8.0 innings between the two starts. In the final start of the first half he allowed two earned in 4.2 innings against Great Lakes while striking out four batters with just one walk. A week after the All-Star game saw the righty take the mound for the first time in the second half and he picked up where he left off as he allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings. The month ended with another two earned runs in 5.0 innings against South Bend. June would be the best month of the year to that point as De Jesus had a 2.74 ERA in 23.0 innings with just six walks and he struck out 16 batters.
July started out rough for the right-handed starter as he allowed 10 hits in 5.0 innings and four earned runs. Jhon De Jesus rebounded well the next time out, giving up just one run in 6.0 innings without a walk. But the inconsistency continued as the righty allowed seven earned in 4.0 innings against Quad Cities. The final two starts of the month saw his work load eased up on a bit as he was limited to 50-55 pitches. De Jesus allowed four earned in five innings to close out the month in those last two games of July. That led to a 7.20 ERA on the month where he allowed 27 hits and six walked in 20 innings with 13 strikeouts.
Still working on a limited pitch count, Jhon De Jesus allowed a run in 2.0 innings to kick off August on the 2nd. Back to a more normal pitch count the right-hander threw 76 pitches and allowed two earned in 4.0 innings against Fort Wayne. On the 12th he made his final start of the season, allowing just one run in 5.0 innings. He only threw 11.0 innings on the month – posting a 3.27 ERA with 11 strikeouts.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Jhon De Jesus Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 203 lbs | Acquired: International FA, December 2014
Fastball | The pitch works in the 92-95 range, but some days will be a little more. He tops out at 98 with the pitch.
Change Up | The pitch can be a bit firm at times, working in the mid-to-upper 80’s. It’s a below-average offering.
Slider | An inconsistent pitch at times, but at it’s best it’s an above-average pitch with good biting action that works in the 81-83 MPH range.
From a raw scouting report perspective, there’s a whole lot to like with Jhon De Jesus. He’s got two above-average offerings with the fastball and slider, he’s got a good frame, and he’s got a high spin rate to work with on the fastball and slider. The pieces are there.
But to this point in his career, he’s struggled to find that consistency to let his stuff play up to that level. The right-handed starter has struggled to miss bats in his career despite the stuff. He has generated good ground ball rates, but that hasn’t helped keep his ERA down since coming over from the Dominican Summer League.
The pieces are there for Jhon De Jesus to be a starter, but it’s also easy to see him making the transition into the bullpen in the future where he could focus on the fastball and slider, and let the fastball go in the mid-to-upper 90’s on a consistent basis.
Interesting Stat on Jhon De Jesus
He showed pretty big splits in 2019. Right-handed hitters hit .255/.345/.408 against him, while lefties hit .349/.389/.513 against him (with 15 walks and 21 strikeouts).
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