Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rookie Jonny DeLuca Shares His Admiration for Clayton Kershaw

Jonny DeLuca used to be more of an afterthought in the Dodgers’ farm system — a solid player, yes, but a player who many figured would stay in the minors for a while, trying to stand out in his organization’s stacked talent-producing machine.

That was until 2023.

The 24-year-old outfielder started this season for Double-A Tulsa and quickly took hold of the opportunity, slashing .279/.380/.590 and hitting 10 HRs with 19 RBI in only 32 games.

That put the organization on firm notice.

A callup to Triple-A Oklahoma City followed, and DeLuca didn’t waver.

He brought his hot bat with him to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and didn’t miss a beat.

He followed up his torrid month in Double-A with another notable stint in Triple-A, racking up marks of .315/.375/.548 in only 17 games with the OKC Dodgers — his first appearance at that level.

Now injuries have necessitated DeLuca’s promotion to the majors, putting a cap on the incredibly fast rise for the process.

Ahead of his MLB debut, he was taking inspiration from a Dodger legend as he gets set to make his mark in the majors, saying this about future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw.

“He’s a legend. I was never a pitcher, but Kershaw is Kershaw. He’s an incredible person, an incredible human. I loved talking to him in Spring Training. He’s been a good role model and good guy to look up to.”

Now, it figures that he’ll get a chance to play behind the legend while Trayce Thompson recovers from an oblique injury he suffered against the Yankees last Saturday.

It’s an unfortunate development for Thompson, who had struggled mightily this season before the injury, but it provides DeLuca the chance to make his mark in MLB and prove that he deserves to stay on the Dodgers’ radar moving forward.

As for DeLuca’s meteoric rise through one of the best systems in the sport?

Not bad for the former 25th round pick.

He went 0-2 with two hard hit outs in his big league debut on Wednesday. He also drew a walk.

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Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner was born and raised in southern California, and he lived there before moving to Colorado and getting his B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022. He relocated back to southern California in 2023 and is looking forward to covering the Dodgers again here at Dodgers Nation. Some of his past work is in Bleacher Report, Dodgers Tailgate, and, most recently, Colorado Buffaloes Wire. Aside from writing, you can probably catch him petting the nearest dog or eating some good Mexican food.

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