DeJesus’ honor is especially impressive considering he missed the 2000 and 2001 seasons with various injuries, making 2002 his first professional campaign. In addition to adjusting to professional baseball, DeJesus also faced the challenge of returning to form following a two-year layoff – challenges he dismissed with ease. He was the fourth-round pick in 2000 and can play all three outfield positions, although he spent the majority of his summer patrolling center.
DeJesus started the season in the Carolina League with Wilmington and hit .296 with 22 doubles, six triples, four home runs and 41 RBI from the leadoff spot. After starting in the Carolina League All-Star game, DeJesus was promoted to Wichita, where he rebounded from a slow start to hit .253 in 25 games with the Wranglers.
This past fall, DeJesus earned a spot in the Arizona Fall League and hit .244 with the Scottsdale Scorpions.
“We really like his awareness and instincts,” general manager Allard Baird said on kcroyals.com.
DeJesus spent three seasons with the Scarlet Knights and was a three-time BIG EAST honoree. He is fifth all-time in RU history in hits (211), fourth in doubles (55), sixth in stolen bases (50), third in triples (13) and the top run scorer with 203 in his career. He also owns the top single-season mark for runs (85, 1999) and is second in total bases (143, 1999).