Aug 10, 2020

Matt den Dekker: Former Mets Outfielder (2013-2014)

Matt den Dekker was born on August 10th 1987 in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The six foot one, left handed hitting outfielder was a second team All State at Westminster High in Lauderdale. 

He then attended the University of Florida where he was first known for his defense & his speed.

He had a good sophomore season but a poor junior year, although he was still ranked the #92 prospect by Baseball America.

In his senior year, he hit .358 leading his team to the College World Series with 64 runs scored & 49 RBIs. In 2010 he was selected in the 5th round by the New York Mets.

After starting out with the Gulf Coast Mets, he was promoted to the Savannah Sand Gnats where he hit .346. In 2011 he hit .296 at A ball St. Lucie, getting promoted to AA Binghamton. On the year he used his speed to steal 24 bases, & hit  32 doubles with 11 triples.  

In 2012 he started the year at AA Binghamton but after hitting .340 in 58 games he was promoted to AAA Buffalo. There he hit just .220 with 9 HRs 47 RBIs & steals.

He began 2013 with an wrist injury & a two week rehab at St. Lucie. At AAA Las Vegas he hit .296 with 6 HRs 8 steals 34 runs scored & 38 RBIs in 53 games played.

When the Mets traded away Marlon Byrd, den Dekker got the big league call up. He made his MLB debut donning uniform #6, on August 29th getting a start in centerfield & batting sixth. He went 0-5 in the 11-3 Mets win over the Phillies at Citi Field.

On August 31st, he got his first career hit, an RBI base hit off the Nationals' Dan Haren, in a six run Mets 3rd inning. The Mets won the game 112-3 for Zack Wheeler. The next day he hit his first career HR, also in Washington off the Nats; Ross Ohlendorf.

den Decker saw a lot of action in September, over getting into 27 games hitting .207 with one HR six RBIs & seven runs scored.

He has had a solid 2014 Spring Training batting .353 with six RBIs & a pair of stolen bases in 16 games through March 19th.

Trivia: He was one of three Mets on the 2014 Spring 40 man roster, to have his last name start with a lower case "d" along with Travis d'Arnaud & Jacob deGrom.

He was brought up to the Mets squad on May 26th, 2014 getting three pinch hit appearances that week going 0-3.

He got some steady action filling in for injured outfielders in June, but hit just .156 with two extra base hits & one RBI, then was sent back to AAA Las Vegas. He was replaced on the roster by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. There he played for the 51's in a crowded outfield with many prospects for the big league team.

den Dekker returned on August 10th & got two hits while making a start in a loss at Philadelphia. The next day he drove in a run & began to see some regular playing time in the Mets outfield through the end of the season. He finished the year batting .250 in 53 games, with 0 HRs 11 doubles & 7 RBIs.

On March 30th 2015, he was traded to the Washington Nationals for reliever Jerry Blevins. He played just four games in D.C. before getting  sent down to the minors. He was brought up again in mid June & finished the year batting .253 in 55 games for the Nats.

On July 22nd, he had a pinch single off the Mets Boby Parnell & came around to score the tying run in a 4-3 Nats win at Citi Field. Overall he was 3-20 against his old Mets NL Champion team mates.

After a poor start in 2016 he appeared in 19 games with the Nats batting .176, before getting sent down to AAA Syracuse.

He would get signed by the Miami Marlins prior to 2017 but was released & then picked up by the Detroit Tigers where he played in just 4 games batting .143.

He returned to the Mets for 8 brief games in 2018 going hitless in 18 at bats. In his six year career he had 82 hits 19 doubles 1 triple 7 HRs 30 RBIs & a .305 on base %. He played in 166 games total with 129 games in the outfield. 

Long Island Ducks: In 2019 he signed on with the Independent League's Long Island Ducks. On June 7th he announced his retirement.

Trivia: On an off day in 2014 while a member of the New York Mets, he & pitcher; Vic Black were hanging out on a bench in Central Park enjoying the day. Then they noticed a runaway horse was running toward them, with no one riding the carriage attached to the horse. The two escaped with out injury & the horse was corralled by carriage drivers after its carriage got stuck on an open cab door.

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