New York Mets News

Matt den Dekker: Mets Season in Review

By Sam Maxwell

Our Mets Season in Review series continues with our look at Matt den Dekker.

Sep 17, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Matt den Dekker (6) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a single by New York Mets first baseman

Lucas Duda

(not pictured) during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Matt den Dekker was another one of these “AAAA” players, as fans like to say, who really needed to prove something at the age of 26 and without having shaken off the prospect tag. Before Juan Lagares arrived to the Big Leagues, den Dekker was the sexy defensive center field prospect pick, but he had yet to show, after signs of turning the corner down below, that he could adjust his offense to the Major League level. Along with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, it was now or never. Though Matt did not pass with flying colors, he showed enough in his potential last stint in the minors, and down the stretch for the New York Mets, that he may just have finally figured it out, and we could have a valuable piece moving forward.

How He Fared in 2014:

Matt den Dekker has desperately needed to cut down on his strikeouts to stick in The Show, which can be said for most prospects coming up, but was especially true for Matt entering the year. His first stint with the big club began on May 26th and he stayed till June 17, garnering a .156 AVG, .224 OBP and .200 SLG, with 0 HR and 1 RBI in 45 ABs. When he was sent back down, he became the best hitter in the Pacific Coast League. For the year, Matt batted .334 with a .407 OBP and a .540 SLG, with 8 HR and 46 RBI in 384 PAs, also stealing 9 bases and striking out 65 times. When he arrived back up on August 10, he immediately got his AVG up to .180 with a 2 for 5 night. Though he only simmered a bit at the beginning, he got it going later on. Matt was able to finish the year with a .250 AVG, a .345 OBP, though only a .322 SLG, with 0 HR and 7 RBI, walking 21 times and striking out 35 in 174 PAs.

Areas to Improve Upon:

Though he showed the ability to hit to all fields, it would be nice for a bit more power going forward from den Dekker. Nothing too crazy, but even 1, 2, or 3 down the stretch in 150 ABs would have added even more to his value. His ability to get on base was fantastic, and got him some leadoff duties at many points in putting together a winning September. Pop at the Top? Now, there’s something I can do a Ricky Henderson dance to.

Other than that, continue to work towards mastery of the strike zone, and den Dekker could see his playing time go up.

Projected Role in 2015:

Presuming a good spring and no injuries, den Dekker should easily find himself in the 4th or 5th outfielder position, with potential to work in the outfield more often depending on the Mets offseason acquisitions.

Contract Status and Trade Rumors:

den Dekker is pre-arb eligible, so he has a couple more years before he would see a raise. The Mets have needed to unload some of these potential borderline-Major-League players, whom they have had a plethora of recently. Maybe Matt finds himself as an added piece to wrap up a deal, but nothing will be built around acquiring den Dekker. Expect Matt on the team next year, and I certainly hope so. He, and this entire bunch coming together in front of our eyes, are fun to watch.