PISCATAWAY, NJ – Former Rutgers University All-American David DeJesus (Manalapan, NJ) was promoted to the Kansas City Royals today and will be in uniform when the Royals face the Texas Rangers tonight in Arlington at 8:05 (ET). DeJesus jumps into the middle of a pennant race, as Kansas City (70-65) trails AL Central Division-leading Chicago (73-64) by just two games.
DeJesus, who played three seasons at Rutgers (1998-2000), was promoted from Class AAA Omaha, where he hit .298 in 59 games after starting the season with Class AA Wichita. He was hitting a team-best .338 with the Wichita Wranglers at the time of his promotion on June 6.
In 215 at bats at the Triple AAA level, DeJesus had 16 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 23 RBI from the leadoff spot, while also swiping eight bases. He was a Class A All-Star with the Wilmington (DE) Blue Rocks in 2002, his first season of professional baseball after being drafted in the fourth round by the Royals in 2000. He missed the summer of 2000 with a broken bone in his forearm and all of 2001 after undergoing “Tommy John” surgery.
“That is great news for David,” said Rutgers head coach Fred Hill. “He is a tremendous ballplayer and has worked hard to develop in their system. His speed and defense will be an asset to them during the stretch run. We couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
A three-year starter for the Scarlet Knights, DeJesus is the all-time RU leader in runs scored with 203, including a school and BIG EAST-record 85 during the 1999 season. He hit .373 for the Scarlet Knights as a sophomore in 1999 and followed with a .368 average as a junior in 2000. He led Rutgers to three-consecutive NCAA appearances (1998-2000) and the BIG EAST Regular Season and Conference Championship as a junior in ’00. He earned BIG EAST All-Rookie honors in 1998 and was a First Team All-BIG EAST pick in 1999 and 2000.
DeJesus is the first Scarlet Knight to make his MLB debut since Angel Echevarria, who broke in with the Colorado Rockies in 1996. DeJesus is joined in the big leagues by Eric Young, who is the starting second baseman for the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.