Cinderella story hits close to home

Went over to the minor-league side yesterday morning and spoke briefly with Tony Delmonico, the Dodgers’ sixth-round pick in last year’s draft out of Florida State. Tony is the son of Rod Delmonico, the longtime University of Tennessee head coach who is the manager of the feel-good story of this year’s World Baseball Classic, also known as Team Netherlands.
“It’s a little bit of an Angels in the Outfield thing they have going on,” Tony said. “To be honest with you, I knew they had some good pitching, but I didn’t know they were capable of doing what they have done.”
What they have done, if you haven’t been paying attention, is upset one of the pre-tournament favorites, the mighty Dominican Republic — TWICE.
Rod Delmonico was fired from U.T. a couple of years ago after 18 mostly successful seasons that included three College World Series berths. He had been serving as an assistant at Florida International when Arizona State coach Pat Murphy told him about an opening as the head of the Dutch baseball federation, a job Delmonico applied for and got. And in case you were wondering, there is no Dutch heritage in the Delmonico family.
“No, he’s pretty much Italian through and through,” Tony said. “But this is such a good thing for him. He has been through a lot of adversity the past couple of years, but he is a hard worker, and he really loves coaching.”
By the way, one of Delmonico’s players on the Dutch team is Dodgers catcher prospect Kenley Jansen, who hit .227 with nine homers and 27 RBI at Great Lakes last year. The team now moves on to the second round in Miami, where it will play Puerto Rico on Saturday.
Even as Tony Delmonico prepares for his first full professional season — he hit a resounding .340, with 20, doubles, 11 homers, 39 RBI and a .443 on-base percentage in just 35 games and 141 ABs at short-season Ogden last summer — he is paying close attention to what is going on thousands of miles away.
“Proud pretty much sums it all up,” he said. “Words can’t describe what has been going on.”

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  • phillydodger

    Tony, I must confess I have been hooked on the WBC – esp the feel good story of the Classic – The Netherlands!

    They play air tight defense with great pitching and timely hitting. Esp taken by the Dodger’s catching prospect, Kenley Jansen. He certainly has a major league arm and pretty good hands/feet for a 6’5″ catcher.

    Do you think the D’s plan on keeping him at catcher or moving him to another position – or even pitcher?

  • Coolguy

    Kenley Jansen is only 6’2″, which makes him more likely to stay at catcher