Who’s Hot, presented by Cholula: Matt den Dekker

Matt den Dekker had three hits Wednesday night against the Marlins, including a pivotal drag bunt that kicked off the eighth inning and eventually led to the go-ahead run.

“The guys were back, and I saw that side of the field open,” den Dekker said, who was eventually driven in by Travis d’Arnaud.


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“You’ve got to do what you can to get on base, so I thought why not give it a try,” he added, talking to SNY after the game.

Den Dekker, 26, has nine hits in his last 19 at bats.


miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: First off, it’s nice to see the team rebound to win the last two games of this series, despite a terrible start on Labor Day. Secondly, good for den Dekker…

His drag bunt was excellent. He got the ball to go by the pitcher, forced in the second baseman and hustled to beat out the reviewable out. I’m not a fan of the sacrifice bunt, however, with speed, and if it’s a left-handed hitter, I’m all for bunting for a base hit and den Dekker should do it more often. He’s not going to be a prolific bat, but if he can eek out a few extra hits and put the infield on its toes — not to mention be a threat on the bases — and play the field like he does, he can be a very useful player on this roster. I’m still not sold on him as an every-day player, but he’s obviously smart and aggressive and I’m intrigued by what he may able to bring to the table.


Big Cholula




20 comments
semperfi
semperfi

Cerrone your not sold on him? We all knew he was a plus defender and can play all OF spots, we knew he had some pop in his bat but it came with some holes in his swing but after making some major adjustments in AAA, he was leading the league in hitting and was 2nd in extra basehits to Joc Pederson who we all believe could be a potential superstar in the MLB. denDekker in AAA was hitting .275/.375 against lefty's and earned the right to be given the chance to play everyday where Nieuwenhuis is best used in a platoon or as a 4th OF but denDekker did what he needed to do to get a full time chance and he belongs at the top of the order where he excelled in AAA and the bunt showed that he values getting on base more then trying to hit HRs which is what he was trying to do earlier in his career. Herrera is another one who belongs at the top of the line up, he is not a Tejada, he is more of a Reyes type.

Randy Wilcox
Randy Wilcox

This is the problem with this organization - and its fans - in a nutshell. We look at these AAA/AAAA players who show a little ability, a little flash, a lot of Vegas numbers, and they're all of a sudden "intriguing" and by May we find them starting. By the All Star break, Las Vegas has moved to Citi Field. And by August we're booking tee times in October. We're the only team I know that does the September 1st roster expansion year-round.

Den Dekker. Flores. Kirk. Tejada (let's face it). Satin. Andrew Brown. And the list goes on.

And it's not just this year. 

Jesus Feliciano. Quintanilla. Mike Baxter. Jordany. And on and on.

All of them were "saviors" for a day or a week or a month. All of them just aren't starting major league ball players. And yet we are conditioned to pin a lot of unreasonable hopes on these guys. And you can't tell me they don't feel it - that and the weight of the NY spotlight, it's a rare breed that can swim their way to the surface through all that.

We need a new organizational mentality. Flush Flushing almost entirely, starting with ownership, who have long since abandoned the idea of operating this team for the benefit of baseball or the city or even their own bottom line. Short-sighted to the extreme. At the same time we fans need to expect better, demand better, of a New York baseball team. We whine, moan, and yet we keep paying our money at the turnstiles.

Turn this team into the Montreal Expos. DON'T support them with your dollars. Come back when they sell. Old farts like the Wilpons who have lost sight of what team ownership should mean will never change unless we push the issue.

Ok, who's next on the soapbox?


Michael Leiman
Michael Leiman

I like what I see of MdD, but I don't believe he's suited for batting 6th in the order. I'd move him up to either leadoff, or, if we want to keep Lagares on top, to 2nd. If we have to continue trotting the unproductive Granderson out there, at least drop him to the 7 hole or thereabouts so he'll at least be unproductive in 1 less plate appearance per game.

mesmo
mesmo

This is the column Terry Collins reads so he will know who to sit in the next game. MdD is hot? Well, let's rest him for a few days...

thecyclone
thecyclone

I'm thinking they are hoping MDD does a good enough job that he can be used as part of a trade for an outfielder. A team with a young power hitter in need of a starting pitcher and MDD can be that players replacement. Especially a team in need of starting pitching and a centerfielder. The team really needs a power hitting right handed outfielder. Not another lefty hitter with little power and I see them keeping Soup and Kirk as the outfield backups and pinch hitters.

unclecliff
unclecliff

I like denD but I don't really understand why he's been given the full-time spot and Kirk has been the guy off the bench. They're the same age. Neither has gotten much of a consistent opportunity at this level til now. Kirk's bat has always profiled better, I think. denDekker seems like a much better 4th OF or Endy Chavez type. Just seems like another odd case of the administration's valuation of some of our young guys.


Either way, I hope they both continue to play well and make cases for playing time.

Pat Brady
Pat Brady

I don't understand the quickness to say "he's still not going to be a prolific bat but...". I'm not saying he definitely WILL be an all-star but he's a kid that has had a lot of success at every single level he's ever played at. I saw a bunch of people say he was a product of hitting in Vegas but he hit everywhere that he's ever played. He seems to have shortened his swing and he's always been a kid that has been good at making adjustments so why is everyone SO quick to write him off? 

Michael Leiman
Michael Leiman

@Randy Wilcox  I think every team, Randy, has secondary players like the ones you've listed above. Most, as you suggest, will play small roles, some won't even do that. Based on what they have done in the minors and their minimal Major League experience, I don't know what it is you've seen that makes you so sure that den Dekker and Flores in particular can't be good players. I'm not saying they will be, but I'd like to see them have some opportunity to do so. To this point MdD looks like he could be helpful as a top of the order guy and Flores has begun to hit a little and steady his play at shortstop. I'd like to see more.


You know, it strikes me that there's a player that could have been on your list, certainly last season, but isn't. And that's Juan Lagares. Unheralded player, what made him last year, any different than those you think don't have a shot? Well, he's gotten the opportunity and now we think we have something special. Not sure how you can be so certain that the same thing couldn't happen with one of the guys you've got listed.


mesmo
mesmo

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't den Dekker displayed some power in the minors? I'm sure they were hoping his power numbers would translate to the majors.

Pete Brilvitch
Pete Brilvitch

@unclecliff  I think the Mets just want to give denD an extended look. Kirk has had some opportunities in the past. I don't really see either one as more than a 4th outfielder. Kirk has shown that he can come off the bench, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was his role next year.

,

Wil Mondejar
Wil Mondejar

@Pat Brady Agree, he's hit over .300 on every level after an adjustment period, way too early to say he won't do it in the majors, if he does can live with the limited power in left with the D and speed he additionally brings.

Randy Wilcox
Randy Wilcox

@Michael Leiman @Randy Wilcox Obviously I am not CERTAIN. And Lagares has proven himself. And, being human, I may be wrong about Kirk and DenDekker and maybe others. The point I was trying to make was less about specific results and more about being critical of an organizational way of thinking, one that has trickled down to the fans so that we accept less and hope for more. I think unrealistic expectations/hopes have become a Mets mantra. This is from years of bringing up borderline major leaguers and time and again foisting them up on the fanbase as the next farm-system success story. AND that we have enough of those to field a competitive team over 162 games.

It's the thinking that concerns me. While many passionate and educated fans raise their voices in protest, the majority accept the "wait til next year/we have a plan" message coming from the front office...and year...after year....after year....we're left waiting. 

The thought process has to change, for fans, and for management. We are so used to playing second fiddle to the Yankees that it doesn't even really bother us any more. 

That's sad.

Pat Brady
Pat Brady

@Pete Brilvitch @unclecliff - Not knocking Kirk but he's had a LOT more AB's then den Dekker. I don't get the 4th outfielder thing either. Based on what? He's hit at every single level. I get it if someone says a platoon player but it's not like the kid hit .260 in the minors. He's as good as it gets in CF. I'd put him just short of Lagares in CF but that's pretty good. I'd like to see both of them get some playing time down the stretch. I know Granderson is going to get his ABs but if I'm Alderson I'd want to see who is going to claim those extra spots. Kirk is out of options next year so he either has to make the team or pass through waivers which is a risky move. 

unclecliff
unclecliff

Fair enough... I just looked back and I hadn't realized he played so much in 2012... granted that seems like a long time ago. 

Pat Brady
Pat Brady

@Wil Mondejar @Pat Brady He's got a LOT more power than E.Y. and plays better defense. With the size of their outfield it's a real advantage to have great athletes out there. I see a LOT of people posting stuff like "he stinks" and "4th outfielder" but I don't know what they're basing this on. 


Michael Leiman
Michael Leiman

@Randy Wilcox @Michael Leiman  Okay, I get your point better now, I think. Not sure what the fans could do to protest more effectively...I don't think attendance has been very good. But I am VERY frustrated and certainly hope they make some good moves. There's a lot of young talent on the team...particularly pitching, obviously. Hopefully it'll all come together.