Have you been enjoying the David DeJesus Era in Kansas City? Did you even know it had been going on?
I haven't been above sarcastically celebrating inconsequential players on this site before and in fact, most of the Honoring & Remembering Section might fall into that category. This post is a little different however. Really and truly, the second half of this strange decade has been the David DeJesus Era. As the Sweeney/Beltran teams were traded/faded away, to a large extent it has been Beltran's replacement that has really defined the team, even moreso, I would argue, than Greinke.
Since 2004, DDJ's first season with major playing time, a number of players, good and bad, have cycled through the roster, and a considerable amount of emotional currency has been invested in a few select prospects. Aside from DeJesus, and, weirdly, fellow Beltran-linked players John Buck and Mark Teahen, there hasn't been much stability.
Moreover, DeJesus hasn't merely managed to hang around, he's been a very good player. Yes, there have been some rough stretches, a fair amount of mostly unfounded frustration and an administrative willingness to continually search for other options in centerfield. Nevertheless, in a hundred years, when Rob Neyer the III is writing his history of the '00's Royals, David DeJesus, despite a singular lack of All-Star games and leaderboard appearances, will stand out.
|Category||DDJ Total Since '04||Team Rank|
|SBs||40||1st (tie/ Gathright|
In many of these categories it isn't even close either. DDJ's 700 hits (the 700 club!) dwarf the second place finisher, someone named, let me double check this "Berroa". Hmm, never heard of him. As evidenced by the lack of a consistent rival in the few categories he's second in, there's no one resembling a rival.
Nor is DeJesus's legacy limited to the last five years. All-time, in team history, he's already cracked the Top 20 in a number of major categories: PAs (16th), Hs (17th), 2Bs (15th), TBs (18th), 3Bs (10th). He's also fourth in HBPs.
And so, to the future historians of a little failing baseball team in the middle of the country, let it not be said that we did not appreciate DeJesus in his time.