Great Lakes' De Jesus hits for the cycle
On Sept. 5, 2021, Alex De Jesus finished a triple shy of the cycle. Then with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, the Dodgers infield prospect wound up on third base for what was ruled a double with an error that allowed him to advance. He finished the game with a homer, two
On Sept. 5, 2021, Alex De Jesus finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Then with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, the Dodgers infield prospect wound up on third base for what was ruled a double with an error that allowed him to advance. He finished the game with a homer, two doubles and a single.
On Thursday night, he finally got his milestone.
Los Angeles' No. 20 prospect completed the first cycle of his professional career in High-A Great Lakes’ 13-4 win over Wisconsin at Dow Diamond. He drove in four runs and scored four times during his historic performance.
“It felt really good,” De Jesus said. “After the first two hits, I wasn’t thinking of it. After the triple, I got to third and my third-base coach told me, ‘Hey, you’re almost getting the cycle.’ And I said, ‘Let’s get it.’”
Even if the 20-year-old didn’t realize it at first, the Loons dugout definitely knew when he stepped into the box a single shy in the seventh.
“Everybody in the dugout was looking at each other and kind of whispering, ‘He only needs a single here,’” Great Lakes hitting coach Dylan Nasiatka said. “He hit the ground ball through the left side, and immediately, everyone erupted for him. Just really happy to see him come through with it.”
Batting cleanup and playing at the hot corner, De Jesus got his night started quickly with an RBI double to left field on the second pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning, his ninth two-bagger of the season.
The Dominican Republic native led off the third by seeing three straight breaking balls from Timber Rattlers righty Zach Mort before turning on a letter-high fastball for an absolute no-doubter to left-center. It was his 10th homer of the season -- his third since getting promoted to Great Lakes on May 31 -- putting him two long balls shy of the career-high mark of 12 he set last season.
“He’s stepped up what he’s done in the box,” Nasiatka said. “He’s swinging and missing less, he’s hitting the ball hard more often, doing a really great job on both breaking pitches and fastballs, and he’s covering more of the zone. He’s been really exciting to watch and to coach.”
Here’s the highlights!! https://t.co/s09JtaytOC pic.twitter.com/MPugbuea1l— Great Lakes Loons (@greatlakesloons) June 17, 2022
After flying out in the fourth, De Jesus came up a frame later with two on and two out and attacked a first-pitch curveball, roping it down the first-base line and securing the triple that eluded him last season.
But the job wasn’t done yet, and it was on De Jesus’ mind as he walked up to the plate in the seventh. “You’re going to see it and hit it,” his coach said and that kept the third baseman focused.
He swung at a first-pitch curveball, and in a déjà-vu moment, the chopper deflected off the third baseman’s glove and rolled into left. The official scorer wasted no time, though, declaring it a single to secure the cycle.
The best part of the feat, according to De Jesus, was being able to do it in front of a home crowd who is just getting to know him. De Jesus was batting a pedestrian .259/.398/.483 with 50 strikeouts in 37 games in Single-A before his promotion, but he’s starting to turn a corner at the new level -- he’s amassed a .310/.385/.586 slash line with seven walks, eight extra-base hits and 12 RBIs through 15 games.
“[High-A] has been better than I thought,” De Jesus said. “When I got called up, I felt like everything was kind of fast for me and I remember talking to one of the guys and he told me. ‘Man, you’ve only had a couple of days here. You’re gonna get it.’ That calmed me down a little bit, and it’s feeling really good right now. Better than I expected.”
De Jesus delivered one of two cycles in the Minors on Thursday. Elisandro Alcantara of the DSL Rockies also completed the feat.
Stephanie Sheehan is an contributor for MiLB.com.