Scary News: David DeJesus May Never Slug Over .400 Again

It's a now annual excercise to look at David DeJesus's PECOTA card and lament the lack of anything exciting. Of course, DeJesus is 29 now, and although we're living in the David DeJesus Era, we've come to accept him for what he is: a very useful, if unspectacular player.

Only, it's a little more complicated now if he isn't going to be playing centerfield.

Here's DDJ's triple slash stats from the last three seasons:

BA OBP SLG
2006 .295 .364 .446
2007 .260 .351 .372
2008 .307 .366 .452

A few things stand out here, especially just how bad his 2007 was, and how much 2008 was a nice return to form. Of course, being steady ole David, we hardly noticed the low or the relative high. The one weird thing is what happened to his walk rate last season, dropping from 9.6% in 2007 to 8.2% last season. This second number, 8.2% is actually where DeJesus has been most of his career: 8.3% in both '04 and '05, 8.1% in '06. David's walk rate isn't the issue of this post, but it is interesting to point out that, amidst as we are in stories about DeJesus adjusting to a new lineup spot, it should be said that in a sense he's already been doing so for awhile: he's swinging more and taking less.

No, the issue here is power, and DeJesus's problematic relationship to it. Which is to say a lack of it. (Like my problematic relationship to living above ground, for example... better just stay in the basement.) Anyway, David's been able to consistently post mid .400 SLGs in his career, thanks to a few homers (career high is 12) solid doubles ability and a smattering of triples. But it's all good, right? He hit that career high for homers just last season, and posted an eighty point slugging rebound.

Let's take a look at the XBH numbers from, again, the last three years. (I'm not cherry picking here, 2006 is basically identical to 2005, and represents "standard DDJ" pretty well, I just don't feel like writing more years than I have to.)

2Bs 3Bs HRs
2006 36 7 8
2007 29 9 7
2008 25 7 12

Which guy would you rather have, the 2006 guy or the 2008 version? Would you give up eleven doubles for four homers? Probably, it's a wash according to most statistical models (feel free to let me know if I'm wrong).

So what's the problem? Well, looking at it, every statistical projection system has DeJesus regressing in 2009. Here are the slugs they spit out: .421, .406, .412, .416, .428. PECOTA , the least sanguine, gives a .395 slugging for his 50th percentile projection, and a weighted mean of .401. Not surprisingly, DeJesus's slugs the rest of his career are veering down to the Gload zone: .392, .389, .387, .372, then a brief late-career bump back into the .390s.

This is not good news for a guy moving towards a corner. Essentially, no objective modeling system, sees 2008 as anything more than a blip, a fluky career year thanks to a random high HR/rate. I could dismiss one bad projection, but not five, all saying the same thing. Perhaps most depressing is DeJesus's 90th percentile projection: .311/.378/.467. This is still a damn good year, maybe a borderline downballot MVP campaign if DeJesus plays well afield, but look at the slug again. PECOTA is saying DeJesus is going to have to go nuts just to slug at the level he did at his old peak.

Did anyone have any idea this was going on? Assuage my fears. Tell me that the Crisp & DeJesus combination in the field isn't going to handicap the offense too much. Tell me that DeJesus hasn't hit some secret wall that none of us saw coming.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker