Jaff Decker is the newest member of the Padres.
Today we officially signed Jaff Decker, our second pick in the 2008 Draft and the #42 pick overall. As mentioned previously, Jaff was both a left-handed pitcher and left-handed hitting outfielder in high school. If you watch this clip, though, you'll understand why we see him as a hitter.
We feel Jaff's bat was one of the most polished high school bats in the country, so we're very excited to have Jaff signed.
Congratulations on getting Decker in and going this week for the AZL. When negotiations were going on, all he wanted was to get them over, so he could start playing. You've got a pick that has the heart to go along with the talent.
Is there any chance that he ends up doing anything in Eugene this summer? I don't know what your philosophy is when it comes to bringing along high school kids. I look forward to seeing him in Spring training in 2010.
When will he report to a team ... and when will he be in the lineup?
As an Oregonian, I'm hoping he'll get a look-see @ Eugene :-)
He has reported to the Arizona Padres in Peoria (where he's from, actually). They begin their season tomorrow.
His swing somewhat reminds me of a cross between Brad Hawpe and Matt Stairs. Looks like his lower body is extremely strong as well and his hands have a fairly short route to the ball.
I wonder what his pitching looks like, just out of curiosity. He looks like Joe Blanton to me, but only in appearance obviously, I've never seen him pitch. Was/is there really much consideration about him as a pitcher, or is it a situation where if he was strictly a pitcher and couldn't hit this well he wouldn't be considered for the supplemental round?
I saw pitching footage of Decker on the MLB site during the draft. I don't have the link, but he had a 93 mph fastball and a decent curve. But you could tell by his mechanics and the way he worked he wasn't really a pitching prospect; just provides assurances he has a strong arm for the outfield!
Paul, I have always been curious about the change from aluminum to wood. When you are analyzing and trying to consider certain players, is there a mathematical/statistical way for a scout and an organization to get an accurate read on a player's power? Meaning, is it ever a concern where an argument could be made that a high school or college hitter is an "aluminum" hitter; one who get hits, but isn't really a great pure hitter?
Thanks for the great site.
By the way, I did find the Decker video, along with video of all of the Padres' picks.
Just click on the 400K video links.
Paul, just discovered your site. Great work. Keep it up. You might have covered this before but I couldn't find, but what's behind the blogs name? Thanks.
Decker was not in today's Opening Day lineup at AZL ...
Wow! what a power display, I am definitely not playing golf with him... Unless I get at least 10 strokes that is, or unless he can't put...
Can you update on negotiations with Dykstra? We heard things were close and the UT even said that things had been agreed upon... However, since then things have been quiet... What's up?
Lets think outside the box. Let him pitch and hit if he can do it! It worked pretty good for the Babe.
Jaff is playing TODAY!
... he's 1-for-3 so far, with an RBI and a SB! Playing LF.
A new era has begun? :-)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the teams who go above slot to sign players. And what baseball can do to prevent the elite prospects from circumventing the draft process by putting a price tag on their name higher than the middle and lower payroll teams can afford. Is it an antitrust issue that MLB can't force teams into slot?
It seems the likely scenario will be us having to go above slot to sign the likes of Darnell, Tekotte, and Clark. All players with eligibility left as a bargaining chip.
I have another question in regards to International Free Agency since it's a week away.
With the price tags exponentially rising the last year or so. Do you think it moves us closer to a "World Draft".
By the way, Decker hit his first professional home run today (he also added a double and another walk). Through his first four games Jaff is 7 for 14 with 2 doubles, a homer, and 5 walks. That's a line of .500/.632/.857. That's some fun with small numbers right there.
It's hard not to get excited when you see his swing. The home run was a line drive to right that went some 400 ft. The double was a line drive off the 20 ft green monster in center (400 ft). His eye and patience at the plate is admirable for a player of any age - something that you guys must have noticed in scouting.
Just have to remember that this process is a marathon, and 14 at bats is just a start...
How about a little more update:
.441-1-7...2SB....578 OBP...1.166 OPS
Must have a solid approach to the plate...I'm sure something will be exposed soon but WOW. Insane bat speed. Impressive kid, not sure if he swings like that (HR derby swing) in the games, but it reminds me of Howard/Fielder swings just muscling it out of there.
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