Morning Mets Notes: Matt den Dekker Likely to Start 2013 in Triple-A Las Vegas

By Matt Musico

With the Mets current outfield situation heading into 2013, there has been plenty of chatter whether or not New York should give outfield prospect Matt den Dekker a fair shake during their time in PSL. Although he could have a chance if there are a few injuries in camp, Adam Rubin reports it’s likely the center fielder will start his season with Wally Backman in Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s.

The 25-year-old is well-known for his defensive ability in center field, but it’s crucial for him to cut down on his strikeouts before he gets the call to man the oufield in Flushing. He tore of up pitching at Double-A Binghamton last season, to the tune of .340/.397/.563 with 8 homers and 29 RBI in 268 PAs. That led him to getting promoted to Triple-A, where he struggled, putting together a line of .220/.256/.373 with 9 homers, 47 RBI, and 90 strikeouts in 77 games played (317 PAs).

March 14, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Matt den Dekker (68) flies out during the top of the sixth inning of a spring training game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rubin noted Mets officials feared he’d rack up over 200 strikeouts in the Majors if he was called up too soon and didn’t have a chance to adjust. It will be interesting to see how den Dekker adjusts to Triple-A this season, as he used last winter to get his head on right for Double-A competition (.235 BA in 314 PAs in ’11 to .340 BA in 268 PAs in ’12). It’s tempting to bring den Dekker up because of his raw talent and his ability to steal bases, but it’s better for him to head to Las Vegas with Zack Wheeler to start the year. He needs to prove he can excel against that level of competition so the organization knows he’s fully ready for the next step.

Danny Abriano kept all of the pertinent news and rumors in one spot for you yesterday, summarizing everything that came out of camp. Daniel Murphy had his intercostal injury examined in New York yesterday; he received a cortisone shot and is expected to report back to camp today. Frank Francisco is expected to start lightly tossing a baseball again this weekend, while the Mets announced single game tickets for 2013 go on sale March 1st.

In case you missed the quality work that was on Rising Apple yesterday, don’t worry, I got you covered. Our Rising Apple Roundtable Discussion continued, as we each picked the player we thought was most likely to disappoint in 2013, while Michael Lecolant asked whether it was worth it for Sandy Alderson to protect his first round pick instead of signing Michael Bourn. Also, Mets outfield prospect, Cesar Puello, is the latest name to appear on the Biogenesis clinic list possibly linked to Performance enhancing drugs. Former Mets prospect Fernando Martinez also was on that list.

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