Player Profile: Jaff Decker
Lake Elsinore Storm outfielder Jaff Decker came into the San Diego Padres organization as the 42nd pick (1st round supplemental) of the 2008 draft. A graduate of Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, AZ and only 18 yrs old, the left-hander began his professional career with the AZL Padres , the rookie league, that same summer. His success was impressive and created quite a buzz within the organization.
Decker was named the MVP of the league and was a post-season All Star as well as a Baseball America Rookie All Star with a .352 avg in 49 games and 159 AB. With significant power in his 5 ft 10 inch frame, Jaff hit 11 doubles, 2 triples and 5 home runs with 51 runs scored and 34 RBI. He also had 55 BB to 36 SO to give him a .523 OBP.
Decker also was trying out his legs with 9 SB in 10 attempts. All of this earned him a promotion at the beginning of the 2009 season that allowed him to skip the short season Eugene Emeralds and play for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, where he joined many players older than himself to win the Low A championship in 2009.
His line of .299/.442/.514 in 104 games played and 358 at bats included 25 2B, 2 3b, 16 HR, 64 RBI and 78 runs scored. He had 85 BB and 92 SO, which seems to be the best indicator of the adjustments he had to make to be successful at this higher level. With a good eye, Decker did not have a history of having more strikeouts than walks. He also stole 10 bases out of 16 attempts with only 5 errors. He was named co-MVP of the team at the end of the season.