Now that the 2013 season has concluded for the New York Mets, we have taken a look at overall breakdowns for the offense, starting pitching, and bullpen this past season. We will now take a look at every player on the roster from A (David Aardsma) to Y (Eric Young Jr) as our Mets 101 Player Review Series returns for its third year. In each review we will take a look at the player's 2013 performance and what role, if any, they can expect to have with the Mets in 2014. We continue our series today with a look at outfielder Matt den Dekker.
Mets 101 Player Review: OF Matt den Dekker
2013 Stats: .207 Avg, one double, one homer, six RBI, four stolen bases and .270 OBP in 27 games (63 at-bats)
2013 Story: A former fifth round pick of the Mets in 2010, 26-year old Matt den Dekker received his first MLB callup on August 27 and made his big league debut two days later. On September 1st in Washington, den Dekker belted his first Major League homer into the upper deck at Nationals Park, his first and only of the season. Overall, den Dekker struggled at the plate, collecting just twelve hits in 58 at-bats and struck out 23 times.
With AAA Las Vegas however, den Dekker was much more successful at the dish, hitting .296 with eight doubles, four triples and six homers, while driving in 38 runs and posting a .366 OBP. In the field, he was nearly flawless, logging 49 error-free games in center field, while also seeing limited time in left. Not bad at all considering he suffered a broken wrist in spring training and missed most of the first four months of the season.
2013 Grade: C+ Though just a small sample size to work with, we did get our first look at den Dekker with the big club, seeing his defense as advertised. He'll need to improve with the bat to unseat Juan Lagares, who also is a vacuum in center, but showed more offensive promise on a ballclub that needs to improve offensively in the worst way.
Contract Status: Pre-Arb eligible
Odds of Returning: 99%
2014 Role: den Dekker figures to rank amongst the organization's top six or seven outfielders but will most likely start 2014 in AAA, unless he can beat out Lagares and whoever else the Mets bring in to compete for the outfield jobs this winter. In AAA he can continue to work on facing lefties, which he really did not get much of an opportunity to do in the majors, going 0-for-4 with a walk in his only five plate appearances against fellow southpaws. His glove is a big plus as the organization looks to maintain a focus on pitching and defense but there has to be some offensive production for den Dekker to stick.
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