We continue our Unheralded Prospect Series with Brett de Geus. The path that de Geus has taken to becoming the Dodgers 29th ranked prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) is almost unbelievable. He was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft out of Cabrillo Community College. His professional career didn’t actually start until 2018 (a heart condition shut him down in 2017) when he Geus, in Ogden, threw 62 innings in refief. The numbers were not very impressive as he gave up 78 hits, walked 27 and struck out 58 with an ERA of 7.26.
Between the 2018 and 2019 seasons something happened to de Geus.
Los Angeles’ player development staff has helped de Geus upgrade his pitches. After topping out at 95 mph with a straight fastball in 2018, he now deals a 93-98 mph heater with running action. He also has improved his breaking pitches and now operates with a low-80s curveball with power and depth and an upper-80s slider/cutter. – MLB Pipeline
Brett de Geus started the 2019 season with the Great Lakes Loons and was dominant out of the bullpen. In 30.2 innings he only gave up 17 hits, walked 6 and struck out 36 with an ERA of 2.35. What an amazing turnaround and Brett was rewarded with a promotion to the Quakes in late June.
With the Quakes de Geus continued to dominate. In 31 innings he gave up 28 hits, walked 7 and struck out 36. His ERA was a minuscule 1.16. The excellent 2019 season got him a selection to the Arizona Fall League where he continued to excel. In 9.1 innings he only gave up 2 hits, walked 2 and struck out 11 with ZERO earned runs given up.
In the 2019 off-season The Athletic had an article about minor leaguers working in the off-season to make ends meet. The article offered some insight on what may have inspired de Geus in the previous off-season.
Some speak to the lessons learned there. de Geus realized everyone else works year-round, too. The American norm is two weeks of vacation, not six months. Over coffee one afternoon last month, he cited one hard-charging coworker, a Mexican immigrant who works another job while studying for a post-graduate degree.
That man has a plan. Until last offseason, de Geus did not. Then he realized his plan had to be baseball, and he increased his focus.
“What snapped me back into it was thinking about what else I would do,” de Geus said. “I would be of absolutely no benefit to society at all if I did anything other than play baseball. That’s what brought things back for me, realizing, no, there is nothing else for me. I was born to do this. I have to commit. This is what I do. This is what I am.”
Now we’ve seen the results. To put a cherry on top of his fantastic 2019 the Dodgers invited him to the Major League Spring Training camp for 2020. He did fine in Spring Training and I would expect him to start the season, when it starts, in AA with Tulsa.