2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Jonny DeLuca

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Jonny DeLuca began the 2023 season on the Double-A Tulsa Drillers roster but quickly earned a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City and that was followed shortly after by joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.

DeLuca’s rapid rise began in some sense in November 2022 when he was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster in order to protect against potentially being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. The Thousand Oaks, California native then had impressive moments during Spring Training.

After a blistering start to the Minor League season, DeLuca was recalled by the Dodgers for his MLB debut on June 4 as the corresponding move to Trayce Thompson landing on the 15-day injured list.

DeLuca remained part of the 2023 Dodgers for nearly six weeks before getting optioned back to Oklahoma City when Jake Marisnick was signed and added to the active roster. However, Marisnick went on the IL five days later because of a hamstring strain, which allowed DeLuca to return.

The 25-year-old landed on the IL himself after just one week back, but was expected to be optioned with the Dodgers needing to active Kiké Hernández anyhow upon their trade with the Boston Red Sox.

DeLuca was activated off the IL at the end of August but immediately optioned to OKC, where he remained for the rest of the season.

In 24 games for the Dodgers, Deluca hit .262/.311/.429 with one double, two home runs and six RBI. His first career home run was memorably hit at Dodger Stadium and DeLuca also made a pair of web-gem catches at Globe Life Field during what amounted to a brief Dodgers career.

With Oklahoma City, DeLuca batted .306/.397/.548 with 13 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 35 RBI over 41 games. He was part of the OKC Dodgers team that won the Pacific Coast League championship.

That was an improvement on the 32 games spent with the Drillers, during which DeLuca hit .279/.380/.590 with eight doubles, 10 home runs and 18 RBI.

Jonny DeLuca 2023 highlight

A Fourth of July matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dodgers featured five lead changes, and none was more dramatic than DeLuca’s pinch-hit, go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.

Evan Phillips proceeded to blow the save opportunity, but the home run was DeLuca’s first of his career.

“Those are obviously the spots you dream of being in and winning a game,” DeLuca said after the Dodgers’ 9-7 loss. “You can’t really describe it in words. It’s just really special. Having it be here, that was pretty cool.”

2024 outlook

In December, the Dodgers traded DeLuca and Ryan Pepiot to the Tampa Bay Rays for Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot. Whereas he was likely to begin 2024 with OKC once again, now DeLuca figures to have a regular role in the Rays’ outfield as a replacement to Margot.

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