Cody Decker… Welcome to the Majors… Almost
Cody Decker will play in the major leagues this year. It will likely be for the San Diego Padres in some capacity.
I say that with my coffee mug overflowing with confidence and most of you know when it comes to these type of things in Padres land, I’m rarely, if ever wrong. Here’s why… If Decker isn’t added to the 40-man, he will be able to leave as a free agent this year. AJ Preller is a smart man and smart men don’t let assets walk with nothing in return. It’s really as simple as that. The last thing the Padres and Preller want to see is Decker hit a bunch of homeruns with another team, while Yonder Alonso continues to hit slow grounders to second base.
It’s been well publicized that Decker is the Padres minor league career leader in long balls. A bittersweet achievement for any baseball player. He’s proven all he can prove for years in the system, so why hasn’t he got a chance? Maybe it was the teams over-confidence in Alonso, or Medica? Perhaps good ole Buddy wasn’t a fan? Maybe it’s being drafted in the 22nd round? I’ve heard people say that if Decker was good enough, he would have been taken in the rule 5 draft. That’s just plain stupid and those people clearly don’t understand what the rule 5 draft is really about. Moving on… I wrote about this years ago… Decker has been a victim of the numbers. Gonzalez, Blanks, Rizzo, Guzman, Alonso, even Medica all have stood in the way, until now.
Decker is on the verge of leaving as a minor league free agent at the end of the season. The Medica cheerleading squad (Byrnes and Hinch) are gone and he’s on the verge of losing his 40-man spot. Decker continues to out-produce many in the PCL with far fewer at bats and often times playing out of position. As the trade deadline looms, spots will open up on the 25 man. The 40-man also has plenty of fat that can be trimmed (Rearick, Lindsey, Medica). Which means Decker shouldn’t be stuck in another number shuffle this season. As the Padres don’t have a bunch of “prospects” to add to the 40 this September.
Is Decker an impact player? I don’t know, but he will tell you he can be a bat off the bench and has shown the ability to play 1B, C, 3B, a corner OF spot, or even pitch when called upon. That is likely what Decker will do when promoted… Provide pop off the bench
This isn’t a discussion about what Decker does off the field, some may view it as a distraction. Personally, I think sports, especially baseball is much better when guys have some personality. Clearly the self-proclaimed ANTIHERO has that, but he also has the mental depth to do plenty of things after baseball in and out of the sport. As for his future with the Padres… Roberts, Kotsay, and Murphy are all Decker supporters, and will lobby for him when an opportunity presents itself. My bet is that it will be sooner rather than later.