The young Matt den Dekker has had a troublesome year to date in 2013 — starting and ending with an untimely fracture in Spring Training. Den Dekker was unlikely to make the team at that point anyway, hitting around .200 back then, but he was in the conversation until his injury. He’s coming off a year where he posted a .274/.321/.458 line across two levels of minor-league baseball (AA/AAA), but his splits defiantly favored his time in AA. Over 268 PAs in AA, his slash was .340/.397/.563, while his AAA slash in 317 PAs was .220/.256/.373.
Den Dekker has always been known for his defensive talent in center field, where he has impressive range — perhaps the best in our system. His offensive capabilities have been thrown into question, however, and rightfully so. He has one of the more streakier histories offensively among the current members of our organization, but he’s shown the potential to adjust to advanced pitching with time. He struggled in Binghamton in 2011, only to turn it on to shred the league in 2012.
Currently, den Dekker is in St. Lucie for his rehab, and is 1-for-11 so far with a walk in 13 plate appearances. If he can get back to perfect health, he’ll return to AAA – Vegas to try and adjust there. It’ll be interesting to see how well he hits, because with the constant shuffling of bodies between Vegas and Flushing, he very well may find himself on the bench in Flushing in September. He rivals Wilfredo Tovar in terms of his defensive skill-set, so if he can hold his own offensively, he could find himself in the mix for our MLB outfield once again.