Matt den Dekker

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Matt den Dekker
File:Matt den Dekker (19001873503).jpg
den Dekker with the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals – No. 21
Outfielder
Born: (1987-08-10) August 10, 1987 (age 32)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
August 29, 2013, for the New York Mets
MLB statistics
(through April 24, 2016)
Batting average .238
Home runs 7
Runs batted in 28
Teams

Matthew Gerrit den Dekker[1] (born August 10, 1987) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the New York Mets in 2013 and 2014.

Family and early life

Matt den Dekker was born to Gerrit and LouAnn den Dekker in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[2][3] He was a high school teammate of Washington Nationals teammate Michael A. Taylor. He has an older brother, Brandon, and a younger sister, Jessica.[1] The den Dekker family traces its roots back to Indonesia, formerly a longtime host to Dutch colonies. Gerrit den Dekker was born in the Netherlands before emigrating by boat with his ten siblings to the United States.[2]

In 2014, Matt married Christine McNamara in Palm Coast, Florida.[citation needed]

Amateur career

Matt den Dekker
Medal record
Men's Baseball
Representing  United States
World University Championship
Gold medal – first place 2008 Brno National team

After his freshman year of high school, den Dekker transferred from Coral Springs Christian Academy to Westminster Academy Christian School in Fort Lauderdale, in order to play outfield and pitch alongside his cousin, Westminster's ace pitcher, Kevin Chapman.[4] den Dekker also played with future Washington Nationals teammate Michael A. Taylor at Westminster when the former was a senior and the latter was a freshman.[5] As a junior, den Dekker finished with a .350 batting average and was named to the Miami Herald's All-Broward County First Team.[6] However, the few college recruiters who showed interest were mostly small schools that wanted him to pitch. den Dekker's only Division I scholarship offer came from a University of Florida recruiter who had attended Westminster's practices and games only to scout Chapman.[3]

When Chapman signed on to play college baseball for the Florida Gators, den Dekker quickly followed suit.[4] As a freshman, he batted .234/~.324/.418. As a sophomore, den Dekker hit .333/~.413/.507 with 20 steals in 20 tries and 55 runs in 55 games. The center fielder was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection as an outfielder. den Dekker was then chosen for Team USA's college edition. He batted .176/.375/.176 in the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week; noted for his defense, he made one error and noted for his speed, he was thrown out in his lone attempt (gunned down by Cuban defensive legend Ariel Pestano in the Gold Medal game). den Dekker batted .227/.292/.409 in the 2008 World University Baseball Championship and did not attempt a steal. In the Gold Medal game, he almost drove in the winner, singling in the 12th, but Tommy Mendonca was gunned down at home by Keijiro Matsumoto.

den Dekker hit .296/.409/.412 as a junior with 17 steals in 18 tries. He was still rated 92nd overall by Baseball America among prospects entering the 2009 Major League Baseball draft – then was not selected until the 475th overall pick, when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 16th round. He returned to Florida for his senior year, hitting .358 with a team-leading 64 runs scored and a career-best 49 runs batted in as the Gators reached the 2010 College World Series.

Professional career

New York Mets

File:Matt den Dekker - March 7, 2014 - 4.jpg
den Dekker with the Mets in 2014

After college, den Dekker was selected by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He made his pro debut that summer with the Gulf Coast League Mets, hitting .278 with 5 RBI in 5 games before being promoted to the Savannah Sand Gnats. In 2011, den Dekker played for the St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets. He was invited to spring training in 2012.

In 2013 den Dekker received his third invitation to the Mets Spring training camp. He played in a career high 19 games and posted a .205 batting average as he went 9 for 44 with one home run and seven runs batted in while striking out 16 times. On Sunday, March 24, den Dekker broke his right wrist attempting to make a play on a fly ball hit by Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson.

On August 27, 2013, the Mets promoted den Dekker to the major leagues.[7] He made his major league debut on August 29.[8] He hit his first MLB home run on September 1, 2013, off Ross Ohlendorf of the Washington Nationals.[9]

Washington Nationals

On March 30, 2015, the Mets traded den Dekker to the Washington Nationals for pitcher Jerry Blevins.[10] On June 26, 2015, den Dekker hit his first home run with the Washington Nationals and the second of his career.[11] He came up with a two-run homer in a tied game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18, 2015, providing the winning runs for the Nationals.[12]

den Dekker was optioned to the Syracuse Chiefs at the end of Spring Training on April 1, 2016. He was recalled on April 6 when Ben Revere was placed on the disabled list,[13] and hit a two-run double in his first at-bat of the season.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "2007 Gator Baseball Newcomer Player Profiles" (PDF). GatorZone.com. Florida Athletics. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Arangure, Jr., Jorge (August 9, 2013). "The Mets, Brought to You in ..." New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Callovi, Bobby (February 20, 2009). "Taking Center Stage: After bleak outlook, junior center fielder could live up to major-league dreams". Independent Florida Alligator. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Copabianco, Tony (April 3, 2014). "Westminster cousins become professional baseball players". Miami Herald. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Johnson, Chris (April 1, 2015). "New Nats den Dekker and Johnson have connections all over". Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Matt den Dekker – 2010 Gator Baseball Roster". GatorZone.com. Florida Athletics. Retrieved 9 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Mets select den Dekker, recall Recker & Carson". New York Mets. Retrieved March 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Mets get first peek at den Dekker in MLB debut". New York Mets. Retrieved March 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Matt den Dekker hits an upper decker for first career home run". NBCsports.com. Retrieved April 2, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "MASN News & Information: Nats acquire outfielder Matt den Dekker from Mets". MASNsports. Retrieved March 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Lempert, Jason (June 26, 2015). "Nationals' Matt den Dekker belts two-run home run on Friday". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Krest, Shawn (July 18, 2015). "Matt den Dekker hits pinch-hit game-winner for Nationals". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Nationals put CF Ben Revere on DL; recall Matt den Dekker". Atlanta Journal Constitution. April 6, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Some or all content from this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the BR Bullpen article "Matt den Dekker".