David DeJesus & Justin Bour: Deep League Wire

It’s the unofficial start of summer, and as the fantasy season heads into June, here are two bats who have been hot lately. As a reminder, the players discussed in this column are typically more suited for mono leagues, and I use CBS for the ownership percentages.

David DeJesus / OF / Tampa Bay Rays / 10%

The 35-year-old DeJesus is hardly an unknown commodity, though his ownership percentage suggests his .318/.370/.482 slash line entering Monday’s action is probably not widely recognized. Of course, it’s probably more than just the fact he plays in Tampa Bay that explains the lack of attention; he sits against lefties and doesn’t have a clear-cut starting role on the team. But those conducting deep league dives don’t care as much about platoons, especially when a guy like DeJesus is on the optimal end of one, and he’s been finding his way into the lineup nearly every day at either left field or DH thanks to the extended absences of Desmond Jennings (knee) and John Jaso (wrist).

In his prime, DeJesus was a solid but unspectacular player with a knack for getting on-base at a high clip. That trait has carried over to 2015, but interestingly, it’s owed more to the high average, and high .344 BABIP, than his walk rate, which, at 5.9%, is well below his career norm. The power has also been surprising, though an inflated HR/FB% is largely responsible for the four long balls he’s smacked in just 37 games.

But if the power can be expected to regress, it stands to reason that DeJesus’s walk rate will also return to the 8.7% form he’s shown throughout his 13-year big league tenure. With a lofty on-base percentage comes the chance to score runs, and DeJesus remains an adequate enough defender for him to see playing time in the outfield, especially if Steven Souza continues to struggle. DeJesus is not going to sustain an .852 OPS for the rest of the season, but he still does enough well and should see enough playing time in at least the immediate future to give him some appeal in deep leagues.

Justin Bour / 1B / Miami Marlins / 3%

You might remember Bour as the man who broke up Shelby Miller’s would-be no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning earlier this month, but did you also know he’s started the last five games at first base for the Marlins? In doing so, he’s supplanted Michael Morse in the lineup, and has intriguing power potential that makes him worth a look in deep league world.

Physically, at least, Bour fits the look of a power hitter, measuring 6-foot-4 and weighing 250 pounds. He produced a .196 ISO in the minors with solid walk/strikeout ratios, though Bour, a left-handed hitter, showed sharp platoon splits, a vulnerability that has carried over to the majors. Playing in Marlins Park, a place that severely curtails home runs for left-handed hitters, isn’t going to do him any favors, though he’s already been elevated to the middle of the Marlins’ order, where he’s hitting behind Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. I’ll also add that as a member of the NL East, he’ll have the joy of facing the Phillies and Braves’ pitching staffs on a regular basis.

Yes, his .375/.434/.563 line in 53 plate appearances so far is a) such a small sample size as to be nearly statistically insignificant and b) the result of some extreme good fortune in batted ball luck. But hey, given a choice, I’d rather see a rookie get off to a good start than a bad one, and it’s clear the Marlins are going to give Bour at least a shot to prove he can stick around. We’ll see how he fares his second time through the league, but owners looking for a discounted source of power should take a look at Bour.

Karl, a journalist living in Washington, D.C., learned about life's disappointments by following the Mets beginning at a young age. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he has contributed to the 2014 and 2015 editions of The Hardball Times Annual. Follow/harass him on Twitter @Karl_de_Vries.

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Adam S
Adam S

Would you add Bour or Ben Paulson?

Mike W.
Mike W.

Paulsen is probably the better short term add since he has an open shot at playing time with Dickerson hurt and Brandon Barnes being his main competition right now in LF.

Bour might be the better long term add since he has a clearer path to playing time, at least on paper. Morse looked washed up and Miami has shown they will bench him regularly if Bour is outproducing him. Paulsen might be the victim of a numbers game if Dickerson returns relatively quickly.