The D-backs announced Friday that they’ve claimed right-hander Brett de Geus off waivers from the Rangers, who’d designated him for assignment earlier in the week. The 23-year-old de Geus was the No. 2 pick in this past December’s Rule 5 Draft, going from the Dodgers to the Rangers.
It’s been a rough debut for de Geus, who has totaled 26 2/3 innings for Texas but been tagged for 25 runs in that time. He’s yielded 31 hits, including three home runs, issued 13 walks and plunked an alarming six batters. De Geus has punched out 26 hitters in those 26 2/3 frames, but a straight K/9 is a little misleading for a pitcher who has walked and hit so many batters; his 20.5 percent overall strikeout rate is well shy of the 24.6 percent league-average for a reliever.
While his MLB debut hasn’t gone particularly well, that’s not much of a surprise considering the fact that de Geus is a 23-year-old making the jump from A-ball to the Majors on the heels of a canceled 2020 minor league season. In May 2020, FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen tabbed de Geus as the No. 35 prospect in a deep Dodgers system, noting that a velocity spike upon moving to the bullpen had create some optimism about his chances of emerging as a viable MLB reliever.
Back in 2019, de Geus split the season between Class-A and Class-A Advanced, posting video-game numbers along the way. He combined for 61 2/3 innings of 1.75 ERA ball with a 29.8 percent strikeout rate, a 5.4 percent walk rate and a 56.1 percent ground-ball rate. He’s maintained those impressive ground-ball tendencies in the Majors, inducing grounders at a 55.6 percent clip with Texas.
Because de Geus was a Rule 5 pick, he’ll have to stick on the Diamondbacks’ roster for the remainder of the season or else again be placed on waivers. Were he to theoretically clear waivers if the D-backs exposed him to them a second time, he’d then need to be offered back to the Dodgers organization. Given the catastrophic nature of the Diamondbacks’ 2021 season, however, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to hang onto de Geus through the remainder of the year if they indeed want to permanently secure his rights. Arizona is currently 21-56, making them the only team in Major League Baseball with a sub-.300 winning percentage.