Matt Den Dekker Scouting Report (2010)
Next to top-10 overall pick Matt Harvey, another Matt, Den Dekker, was the most recognizable name in the New York Mets 2010 draft class. Best known for his version of “The Catch” in this year’s College World Series, Den Dekker had a stellar career at the University of Florida prior to signing for a considerable bonus given his status as a fourth year senior. At 23, he’s currently sporting a .346/.404/.471 line in the South Atlantic League entering playoff action. Is this a sign of things to come? Or is Den Dekker taking advantage of lesser pitching than he faced in the SEC?
Physical Projection: Listed at 6’1″, 205 lbs., Den Dekker is well-proportioned and looks the part of a college athlete who has benefited from a major college strength and conditioning program. As an athlete, he’s certainly not bursting with tools, but he makes the most out of his physical attributes and they play up due to his being a “grinder” who understands his strengths well.
Offense: Matt Den Dekker has very simple swing mechanics with little extra movement once the pitcher enters the wind up. He loads to a strong position before unleashing a max effort, level swing. Den Dekker’s power is more of the doubles variety as he sprays the ball from gap-to-gap. With two strikes, he will look to poke outside pitches the other way and is susceptible to fastballs up which has led to a K% above 25%. The vulnerability is caused by just a touch of length in the back of his swing.
In an at bat versus 2009 top-10 pick Zack Wheeler, Den Dekker turned on a 93 MPH fastball for a line drive foul down the right field line. On the following pitch, he laced a 94 MPH fastball to left-center for a two-strike single. It was a glimpse of Den Dekker at his best, and an at bat I’ll remember for quite awhile. However, it’s important to temper that enthusiasm with the reality Den Dekker is 23 and was facing a fantastic prospect, albeit one 33-months his junior.
Defense: In center field, Den Dekker uses his above average speed and strong first step to cover plenty of ground. However, his routes can leave him in awkward catching positions as I’ve seen him overrun a handful of balls before having to jump or adjust to make the play. His arm strength is solid average. Den Dekker consistently makes accurate throws, but they tend to have a little more arc than outfielders with stronger arms.
Above average center fielders are hard to find and Den Dekker is one. However, the rumors of his being a “plus-plus” defender are just that. Blue Jays Anthony Gose remains the only outfielder I’ve seen who can lay claim to that.
Speed: In game action, I’ve clocked running times for Den Dekker in the 4.10-4.15 second range from home-to-first including a 3.75 on a successful drag bunt. While not a base stealer, he runs the bases quite well and is unlikely to run into many outs due to poor decisions.
In 2009, Mets prospects and former college players Josh Satin, Sean Ratliff, and Eric Campbell all had up-and-down seasons prior to strong campaigns which landed each in AA by season’s end. Den Dekker hopes to follow in their footsteps as the 23-year old looks to hit the fast track and solidify his prospect status. While I can’t project Den Dekker as a starter at the big league level, left-handed hitters with speed who can play all three outfield positions have definite value. Add his strong makeup into the equation, and I can see Den Dekker having a career as a role player and clubhouse presence.
21 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?