Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 lbs
Acquired: 5th rd 2010 (Florida)
2011 Rank: 28
Why Ranked Here: Matt den Dekker climbs 10 spots from a year ago by blowing through the advanced-A Florida State League to earn a second half promotion to double-A Binghamton.
Den Dekker has always been a strong defender in centerfield. He can play the position. He has plus speed and gets good jumps and takes solid routes to the ball in the air. The weakness in his defensive game is his arm, which is nothing special. Long-term, his arm would also make him a poor fit for right-field where arm strength is prized.
The question around den Dekker is simply whether he’s going to hit enough to play every day. He fanned in 29% of his plate appearances in AA as a 23-year old. That’s not a new concern – he whiffed in almost 25% of his plate appearances in Savannah, and over 21% in St. Lucie.
There were a few areas of progress for den Dekker.
- He’s worked hard to get stronger, and popped 17 homers in 2011. I didn’t see that kind of power from him in 2010, (and neither did most scouts based on his flat swing) so kudos to den Dekker for getting better at driving the ball. Even while his batting averaged dipped at AA, his maintained his power and isolated slugging.
- After struggling against lefties in just 27 games with Savannah, den Dekker ripped them for a .325/.386/.475 line in St. Lucie. However, in just 41 plate appearances in AA he slipped back to .236/.301/.444 versus southpaws.
- He pushed his walk rate to nearly 9% in double-A although the cost was more whiffs.
At 24 entering 2012 with a poor half-season in double-A to his credit, it’s hard to see a star here, but he could be a very solid centerfielder if he can limit his strikeouts.
2011: All told, between advanced-A and double-A, den Dekker had 32 doubles, 11 triples, 17 homers and 24 stolen bases. That’s a nice power-speed combination.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Above-average starting centerfielder.
Debbie Downer Says: Fourth/fifth outfielder
Projected 2012 Start: AA Binghamton
MLB Arrival: 2013
Twitter: His twitter feed @upperdekker is one of the most amusing and active in the Mets’ system.