Saturday, June 8, 2024

Paul DeJong Is Hoping To Boost His Trade Value To Play For A Contender

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Paul DeJong is quietly having a respectable season for the White Sox. He hopes that his recent success at the plate can help get him traded to a contending team.

DeJong is just one year removed from being released by the Blue Jays, just 13 games after the Cardinals traded him away. The 30-year-old now leads the White Sox in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. For an offense that ranks 26th in the MLB in home runs and last in runs scored that is a pretty low bar to clear. However, DeJong’s 10 home runs, 23 RBIs, and .726 OPS mark a drastic improvement from last season.

In 2023 he slashed .207/.258/.355 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs. To add insult to injury the eight-year MLB veteran’s expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, average exit velocity, strikeout rate, and walk rate all ranked in the bottom third of qualified MLB hitters

DeJong still owns a high strikeout rate this season but has been consistently hitting the ball hard. His 44.2% hard-hit percentage ranks in the top half of the MLB. That might just be enough for the former All-Star to draw some trade interest at the deadline. Despite his poor offense showing last season, the Cardinals still managed to find a trade partner for him. DeJong is hoping the White Sox can do the same this season. 

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“I want to play well before that so that my value is high and I get a chance to go and play on a good playoff team,” DeJong said during an interview with 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine. “And I also want the White Sox to be able to get something in return. I care about the people here, and I really have enjoyed myself with the White Sox and Chicago is a special place for me. I think works both ways. I think we both can profit from each other, and I’m just thankful to have these opportunities to play for the White Sox, stay in the big leagues and perform, try to do my best, and get a chance to play every day is a great honor for me and something I don’t take lightly. Day by day, I just want to put together a nice season. And whatever happens, I’ll be ready for it.”

DeJong knew what he signed up for when he inked a one-year deal with the White Sox this offseason. With Colson Montgomery waiting in the wings, his role was to provide a veteran presence and be a placeholder while Montogmery continued to develop in the minor leagues. After helping snap a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak, he and some other veterans are bracing for change. 

“Going through that last year, going into my free agent year with the Cardinals, playing pretty well and getting traded, that was a huge shock for me as far just the process of it,” DeJong said. “And then going to another team, the Giants after that, I think that gave me a ton of learning and experience when it comes to that. So this time around, I’m understanding of where I’m at in my career, where this team is at. It’s almost something that Tommy [Pham] and I are expecting by the trade deadline.”

While DeJong’s offensive numbers were not very good at the time of last year’s trade did put together a solid season on the defensive end. His Fielding Run-Value of 7 placed him in the MLB’s top 84th percentile. He also had nine Outs Above Average which placed him in the league’s 94th percentile. He has been unable to replicate those numbers this season but his proven track record with the glove is a bonus for any team looking to add infield depth at the deadline. In 2019 DeJong led NL shortstops in assists, double plays turned, and fielding percentage. He is confident that he can help a contending team but in the meantime, he is still focused on helping the White Sox. 

“I want to be there each day for my teammates,” DeJong said. We need to try and play great baseball every day. There are no secrets. It’s all about discipline and focus. And it’s all will to win, wanting to be here and make an impact. I am just excited about the future to see what happens.”

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Southside Mike
Southside Mike
Jun 8, 2024 10:06 pm

DeJong’s a total class act. Hope he winds up with a contender

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