Matt den Dekker will likely play winter ball

Michael Baron, Contributor

Matt den Dekker told me he is likely to play Winter Ball during the off-season.

The organization asked den Dekker if he would consider playing winter ball because he missed so much time this year. He missed the first part of the season after breaking his wrist in the last week of Spring Training. He ended up with just 58 at bats in the big leagues and 202 plate appearances in the minor leagues.

Matt den Dekker 1 polaroid

Den Dekker said he can only play Winter Ball for about a month, since he has a personal obligation in November.

It was mostly a lost season for den Dekker, but he showed glimpses of growth in the big leagues this year, appearing to shorten his stroke and using the entire field at times. He also showed his power potential with a long home run after being promoted, but he still struggled lefties and to make contact in general, so he continues to be a work-in-progress.

The coaching staff worked extensively with him on pitch recognition during camp because of his issues making contact in his professional career, but he was unable to apply that work consistently as a result of missing so much time. Winter Ball can only help the process for him, even if it’s for a limited amount of time.