Venezuela’s LHP Enmanuel De Jesus, Helps Lead Club To Victory
There comes a point in a professional ball players career when he has that moment that shows the world that he belongs. That moment came in Wednesday’s Venezuela v. Israel Pool D game, as left handed pitcher Enmanuel De Jesus tossed 3.2 innings in relief and shutdown the Israel lineup by allowing four hits and one earned run, while striking out five. Team Venezuela finished off Israel 5-1, to complete pool play with a perfect 4-0 record and advance to the Quarterfinal rounds. The one convincing thing is that Venezuela defeated two powerhouses in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic that led to their domination.
De Jesus was signed as an International free agent in 2013 by the Boston Red Sox and remained with the organization until he elected to become a minor league free agent on November 2, 2020. The Red Sox resigned the Venezuelan native for the 2021 season, then after the season, he chose to elect free agency ending his tenure with the only organization he has ever known. In his seven year career with the Red Sox minor league system, he finished with 40 minor victories.
In November 2021, after filing for free agency, he signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. Last season, with their Triple A club, he was 4-5, with a 4.51 ERA, and started 19 of the 35 games he appeared in, while striking out 118 batters in 101.2 innings.
After the 2022 season was over, De Jesus elected to be a free agent was signed by the Miami Marlins to a minor league contract, that also included an invite to spring training as a Non-Roster Invite. In two spring training games, he tossed three shutout innings, allowing three hits and struck out a batter.
De Jesus then took his game to the World Baseball Classic as he was invited to represent his home country of Venezuela.
In the first three games, Venezuela was pinned up against favorites Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and even though most did not pick Venezuela to beat either team, they shocked the world by defeating both countries, along with Nicaragua and Israel to finish undefeated in pool play.
In Game 4, against Team Israel, Venezuela built up a 4-0 lead when De Jesus entered the game in the fifth inning and allowed just a one-out single, before retiring the side on a line out and strike out. In the sixth, De Jesus went back to work and struck out the first batter, before allowing a walk and retiring the next two on a strikeout and pop out.
Venezuela sent De Jesus out for a third inning of work and after retiring the first two on ground outs, the next batter beat was safe at first after he beat De Jesus to the bag on a ground ball to the first baseman Eugenio Suarez. Team Israel managed a run on two more singles before De Jesus struck out Spencer Horwitz to kill the rally and keep Venezuela up 5-1.
Manager Omar Lopez showed confidence in his young left hander, as he sent De Jesus out for a fourth inning of relief and he rewarded his managers decision by getting Ty Kelly to line out to center and struck out Matt Mervis swinging before being pulled to end his day.
De Jesus’s line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 Ks.
It was a great performance from a guy that is just looking for that opportunity to finally reach his dreams of pitching in the majors. De Jesus took one huge step in that direction, as everyone from the World Baseball Classic to, I am sure the Marlins, see what a valuable arm he can be on a major league team.
The second round begins for Venezuela on Friday March 17th in the Quarterfinals in Miami – Opponent TBD.