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How All Of The Pirates Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years.  They have had 20 Losing seasons in a row - and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction.  The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970's.  Their recent struggles have been because of drafting prior to the Huntington reign as GM.

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization havebeen looking a lot better over the last few years. They had 20 Losing seasons in a row finally end in 2013, – and at the time were one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and were the only National League team to hold this distinction until they clinched a wildcard berth in last year’s postseason. The squad even won a game at PNC Park for the 1st time ever in playoffs against the Reds in the NL Wildcard game.  They were ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games during the NLDS round.   The club was one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970’s. Their recent struggles (prior to 2013) have been because of drafting prior to the Huntington reign as GM.  This Roster Tree will show you they have done well via the trade route for several years.

How All Of The Pirates Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Neil Huntington has done a great job assembling this Pirates team – and has spun some great trades in order to see his club actually be competitive over the last few years.

He may have taken some flak over not spending any money over the 2013 off season, but let’s see if he is active towards the Trade Deadline.

If the club has money to spend, they could really do some damage with picking up some help to bolster the squad.

Making the playoffs is just not good enough anymore.

You have been given a gift with the longterm deals that Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte have inked, and with the service clock just starting on Gregory Polanco.

It is an OF that hasn’t seen this much talent in Steeltown since the days of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke. Read the rest of this entry

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The Players In All Of The San Diego Padres Organization: Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years.  It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years. It is not from a lack of a good coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Padres didn’t have very much go right for them in terms of organizational prospects panning out at the Major League Level.

Although, the franchise must be stoked about the development of Andrew Cashner.

Trading away Adrian Gonzalez was tough enough, and right after that, the club flipped Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs, after a sub – par rookie campaign.

The Padres have a tough hoe ahead of them – competing with mega spending Los Angeles will prove very tough considering that team has a payroll in the $230 MIL range, while the ‘Pods’ are not in the $100 MIL range.

Having said that, the team still competed all year, and put up 76 Wins on the board.

They have one of the better skippers in the game with Bud Black.

The key will be the youth of the franchise, as that is how they can keep their payroll down, is to have their top prospects work out, be under team control – much like the way of the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays models.

For the Up to Date Roster for the Padres all year around, please visit Jeff’s Website right here

For the Entire Page of teams links we have dedicated to Payroll, Rosters, Depth Chart, State Of the Unions and Roster Trees, please click right here. Please bookmark this page and check back, as we are busy on the analysis at MLB Reports always.

Andrew Cashner uses his bat and arm

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Casey Lawrence Interview: Blue Jays Pitching Prospect (Casey’s Got Game!)

Monday January 16, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  I love talking baseball prospects. I can discuss them and debate them all day long. I get asked all the time: how do you know which prospects will make it? The truth is…picking prospects is not an exact science. Some highly touted ones end up falling off the map, while relative unknowns can shoot up and shine. But if you ask me my measuring stick, it always begins with one statistic. Walks. I look for hitting prospects that take walks and pitching prospects that give up very little walks. It is that simple. The process if far more complicated and this is an oversimplification. But if a walk total stands out, you definitely have my attention.

On the hitting side, take Jaff Decker in the Padres system. The outfield prospect took 103 walks last year in AA. Ranks him very high in my books. But as rare as it is to find  a hitting prospect who can take a walk with pop in his bat, it is even more rare to find a good control pitcher in the minors that gives up few walks and punches hitters out. Let’s say I was to find you a pitcher. In his first two professional seasons combined, here are his numbers: 21-11 record, 2.80 ERA, 1.082 WHIP, 228 1/3 IP, 211 hits allowed, 172 strikeouts and…only 36 walks allowed.  Interested? That is a 4.78 SO/BB ratio. Only 1.4 BB per 9 IP. At 24-years of age, welcome to the world of Casey Lawrence.

At 6’2″, Casey has good size for a pitcher. He stepped into professional baseball in 2010 and has dominated from day one. As starting pitchers goes, I really like his potential. There is a common obsession in baseball circles to favor pitchers who throw 99 mph gas but are generally wild. In my book, an out is an out. Casey Lawrence still has a good share of strikeouts, but it is his control and stinginess on walks that separates him from the pack. 2012 will be a big year for the kid who’s got game. I would like to see what he can do in AA. He has shown that he can pitch. The Jays now need to take that potential and put it up against the next level. If he continues on his current path, Toronto will not be too far behind. 

For all his success to-date, Casey has not let the numbers get to his head. With his down to earth nature, Casey is not getting too far ahead of himself. He does not consider himself above the game, but rather a student of the game. This is what we call the total package- and Casey Lawrence will continue to turn heads in the coming years. Featured today on MLB reports, we are proud to present our interview with Blue Jays Pitching Prospect, Casey Lawrence:

MLB reports:  Welcome to the Reports Casey!  First question we like to start off with: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Casey Lawrence:  The player that I most idolized growing up was Cal Ripken Jr. of the Orioles. I admired Cal for his ability to show up to the field day in and day out, without ever taking a day off and playing through injuries. I admired the way he accepted a position change from SS to 3B for the betterment of his team. I admired the way he played the game and had fun doing it.


MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?

Casey Lawrence:  Today, I admire Derek Jeter for the way he handles himself on and off the field. He is the type of player that has become a household role model. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played and has that “it” factor; the ability to make the big play, clutch hit, and find a way to win.


MLB reports:  Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?

Casey Lawrence:  My most proudest accomplishment of my career-to-date would have to be a combination of two: the day I signed my contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and being given the honor of starting the 2010 New York-Penn All-Star Game. I consider both to be honors and rewards for the hard work I’ve put in each and every day.


MLB reports:  You started your baseball career with the Jays organization in 2010.  Did you expect to be signed by Toronto? What was that process like?

Casey Lawrence:  I had been shown some interest from a few teams after my junior year at Albright College heading into the draft. While no teams took a chance then, I still had faith that my time would come after graduating my senior year. My senior year was greeted with several more teams showing interest, but yet again the draft came and went without a single phone call from any of the 30 MLB teams. That means I had been passed over in the draft 3,000 times in two years. But wasn’t the first time I had been looked over, so I had accepted the fact that I had to continue to prove people wrong each and every day. I had actually been in Florida for vacation during the 2010 draft. I returned home that Sunday and pitched in a local men’s league game for the Brushtown Bulldogs. Monday morning I received a phone call from Blue Jays scout Bobby Gandolfo saying that they would like to offer me a contract. I flew back to Florida Tuesday morning and my journey started.


MLB reports:  What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?

Casey Lawrence:  I consider my knowledge of the game as one of my greatest baseball skills. I grew up learning and playing  the game I love from my Grandfather, who was offered a professional contract from the St. Louis Browns. But he turned it down because my Grandmother insisted he stay home and take care of the family, my Father and my Uncle. I really enjoy talking the game and strategy of baseball every day and don’t know what I’d do without it.


MLB reports:  What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?

Casey Lawrence:  I am continually working to better myself within this game whether it be mentally or physically. I always keep “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching” close by me and consider it a pitcher’s Bible. I also have been striving to continue to get stronger and increasing my arm strength in order to stay healthy and consistent.


MLB reports:  I am very impressed with your numbers.  Good win totals, low ERA and WHIP.  I am particularly blown away by your low walks rates.  What’s the secret of your success?

Casey Lawrence:  The secret to my success is no secret at all but rather hard work. I have always worked hard at throwing strikes, locating all my pitches, getting ground balls, and allowing the defense to make plays. My Uncle Dave (also my pitching coach at Delone Catholic High School) and Gary Yeager Jr. (my pitching coach at Albright College) always preached about pounding down in the strike zone and that hasn’t changed since signing with Toronto.


MLB reports:  Long-term do you see yourself as a starter or a reliever?

Casey Lawrence:  Long-term I see myself doing whatever the team asks me to do. Obviously, I’d love to continue to start; but if they feel I’d help the team more by relieving ,then that’s what I’ll do.


MLB reports:  What pitches do you throw?  Best pitch? Anything you are currently working on?

Casey Lawrence:  My repertoire consists of a 2-seam sinking fastball, 4-seam fastball, change-up, slider and curveball. I’m continuing to develop my breaking pitches into being more consistent and sharper.


MLB reports:  If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?

Casey Lawrence:  That’s a tough one, really putting me on the spot with this one! I’ll say this. I see my arrival in the big leagues whenever the team feels I’m ready. Obviously, everyone wants to get there sooner rather than later, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. They are the greatest players in the world. The truth is “if you think you’re ready, you’re probably not”. Every day is another opportunity to get better and learn something new. No one is guaranteed the opportunity to play at that level and if I’m fortunate enough to one day have that opportunity, that would be a blessing.


MLB reports:  What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?

Casey Lawrence:  When I’m not playing baseball, I enjoy going to the movies, watching television, playing some video games and golfing.


MLB reports:  Have you visited Toronto yet?  

Casey Lawrence:  I honestly have never been outside the United States. My passport is ready if the time calls for it, but I’d rather not just visit.


MLB reports:  You just completed your second professional season, finishing in High-A ball.  Do you know where the Jays likely plan to start you this season?

Casey Lawrence:  I have no idea where the Blue Jays plan on starting me this season. I’m anxious for Spring Training to start and earn a spot on the team they feel I fit best.


MLB reports:  If you could send out a message to the Jays fans, what would it be?

Casey Lawrence:  My message to the fans of the Blue Jays would be to continue with their unbelievable support and that the whole entire organization is working very hard day in and day out to bring them a World Series. Hopefully in the near future!


MLB reports:  Final thoughts?

Casey Lawrence:  Finally I’d like to thank my family, friends, and fans for their continued support. I don’t think they get enough credit for what they have meant to me in my life. It’s truly a blessing and I thank God each and every day for the opportunity I have to play the game I love for a living.

***Thank you to Casey Lawrence for taking the time today to speak with us on MLB reports (and the pictures used in todays’ feature)!  You can follow Casey on Twitter (@CaseyLawrence). Casey is very social media savy, so please feel free to send him any questions/comments you have.  Good luck in 2012 Casey, the crystal ball sees big things for you this season!***

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Interview with Jaff Decker: Padres Prospect and Future MLB Superstar

Wednesday December 14, 2011

 

Jonathan Hacohen:  Get ready folks, as you are in for a big treat today.  Exclusively on MLB reports, we have one of the top prospects in the game, outfielder Jaff Decker of the San Diego Padres.  Jaff was recently featured by us prior to this interview.  As a former 1st round pick of the Padres (2008 draft, 42nd overall), Jaff came to professional baseball as a very highly touted talent.  After working hard and improving every year in the minors, Jaff is on the verge of cracking the Padres lineup in the near future.  I had a chance to take some time to speak with Jaff recently.  We discussed his childhood, learning the game of baseball, getting drafted in the 1st round, his career to-date and future plans in baseball.  Despite being featured in many baseball publications and rated as a top prospect in the game, it was refreshing to find that Jaff has not allowed his notoriety to get to his head.  He is a down-to-earth person, who genuinely works hard and takes nothing for granted.  He believes in himself and his abilities, but with a strong sense of humor and humility.  I project that Jaff will have a long and productive career in the big leagues.  He has the talent, work ethic and focus to succeed in baseball.  Attention Padres fans: Jaff Decker is knocking on the doorstep and will be a big part of your Padres team very soon.   

Featured on MLB reports, I am absolutely thrilled to present my interview with Jaff Decker.  Former 1st Round Pick.  San Diego Padres Outfield Prospect and Future MLB Superstar:

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 MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Jaff.  It is a pleasure to be speaking with you.  As you are a highly rated prospect in the game, do you receive many requests for interviews at this stage of your career?

Jaff Decker:  It has definitely started to pick up more and more as I have moved up each year in levels, especially with the teams I have played on the last couple of years.  Winning 2 championships out of 3 years has really helped the interviews out.

 

MLB reports:  It is impossible to have a conversation about Jaff Decker without first discussing the walks.  You had 85 walks in 2009 and 103 this past season.  How did you become a walk/obp machine?  At what age did you develop your strong batting eye?

Jaff Decker:  I would have to say it is pretty hard to go without talking about the walks I have had the past couple of years. Good and bad. My dad has taught me everything I know about the game of baseball and the hitting aspect of it. He has always taught me great fundamentals and has preached to me that “a pitcher has 3 pitches to get you out.  As the pitchers pitch you, work the count. A walk is just as good as a hit.”  But I am also learning to be a little more aggressive in the count as well, which I have worked real hard on by watching film and working on pitches.

 

MLB reports:  I often use Nick Swisher and Adam Dunn as comparisons to you.  What current and former players did you grow up idolizing and/or patterning your game after?  Have the names that I mentioned come up before?

Jaff Decker:  Yes, actually Nick Swisher has come up a lot.  I really enjoy watching how hard he plays the game and how much he enjoys playing this great game. Growing up though the years, it was always Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Tony Gwynn. I had so many opportunities to watch them play being from Arizona, so I always watching them during the spring. Funny story: when I was about 5-years-old, I caught a home run ball over Tony and actually got the ball signed by him after that inning.  That will always be a great moment in my mind.

 

MLB reports:  You were a 1st round pick in 2008.  One of the highest honors a young player can experience in the game.  Did you know that you would be drafted that high going into the draft and were the Padres the team that you expected to take you?

Jaff Decker:  Being drafted where I was a great accomplishment.  We had a huge party at my house during the draft and all my family and friends were there to experience it with me.  When my name finally got called, it felt like the house was shaking (laugh).  To answer your question, I actually had no idea that the Padres were going to pick me there. There were many teams that had talked to me before. But they (the Padres) kind of flew under the radar and I couldn’t be happier with this organization.

 

MLB reports:  What was the first “big” purchase you made after signing with the Padres?

Jaff Decker:  My first and only purchase was a car. Everything else has been put away. But I did have to promise my mom who is a teacher that I would go back to school after I was done playing (grin).

 

MLB reports:  You started off the first two seasons of your career with a bang.  How did you find your 2010 season?  What was that season like and tell us about your strong finish that year.

Jaff Decker:  I had battled an injury during the first half of 2010 and I struggled a little bit.  It (the injury) did get to me a little bit, as I was not helping the team like I knew I was capable of doing. So I had a few days off at the all-star break that year and went home.  Just like when I was younger, my dad spent those 3 or 4 days putting in many hours in the cage with me working on the fundamentals and just the mental side of hitting.  When I came back, everything fell back on track. The big thing was not trying to do too much at the plate and just trusting myself and to start using the whole field again.

 

MLB reports:  Your 2011 season was magical in my eyes.  You crossed the magical 100 walks plateau, while flashing strong power, driving in and scoring runs at a healthy clip.  Looking back on this past year, what are your feelings?  Satisfied?  Areas of improvement?

Jaff Decker:  I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% satisfied.  I felt that I had ups and downs all year and my struggles related to being too patient at times at the plate.  There were points that I would know when I was getting pitched around.  No excuses at all, but I became a little complacent with what I call “maybe pitches”, that were called strikes by the umpires, but in my eyes were balls.  We also didn’t play in the most hitter-friendly ballpark.  I did feel though that I came up with some big hits at times during the season. But I still need to work on different parts of my game to get to where I want to be and stay there.

 

MLB reports:  In my estimation, you clearly put yourself in the driver’s seat going into 2012.  You are turning 22 in February.  What are your goals for the upcoming year?

Jaff Decker:  I would have to say my goals would include coming to spring training in better shape again. I love proving people wrong and to show them that I can be a five-tool player, even without being 6 feet and built like a specimen. But I want to work hard to prove them (the critics) wrong and I just try to soak everything I can in.  I work out at a place with many proven big leaguers. I just can sit and listen to what they say for hours because I know they have been there and who better to learn from than them.

 

MLB reports:  Have you watched and/or read Moneyball?  You have been labelled a Moneyball-player throughout your career.  Thoughts? 

Jaff Decker:  Yes I have seen the movie (big laugh) and I loved it.  I love seeing that a ballclub can be put together that is not based on how you look, but how you control the game of baseball.  Because by no means when you look at me, am I built like a brick house.  But I’ve been taught how to play the game the right way and I think it’s helped me get to where I am today.

 

MLB reports:  Is conditioning a strong concern for you, either as your own goal or anything communicated by the team?

Jaff Decker:  Conditioning is huge for me.  Like I said earlier, I am no way a guy you look at and say he could be a model (chuckle).  I do have to work harder than some other guys and be smarter how I treat my body.  I am learning how to do that and love seeing everyone’s faces when I show up after a long hard offseason of workouts and preparation.

 

MLB reports:  You hit .236 this past season, but have a career .273 AVG.  You also have a .411 lifetime OBP.  How do you view OBP, strikeouts, batting average and home runs as part of your game?  If the walks and home runs remain consistent, is there any concern that your average needs to be raised?

Jaff Decker:  I believe that I had a slight down year in the average department, but I know I can hit a whole lot better than I did.  I felt like I came through with runners in scoring position and by walking, I got on base for the middle of the lineup behind me.  Getting on base equals scoring runs (laugh).  But my power was there throughout this year.  It was just about taking what the pitcher gives me, even if it’s a single the other way instead of a double in the gap.

 

MLB reports:  Long-term, do you project that you will remain in the outfield?  How important is defense to your overall game?

Jaff Decker:  I believe I can handle my own in the outfield. I have worked very hard every year and tried to learn a lot from other guys.  A big part of my game on defense is getting good jumps and routes on balls, because I can run well- but not blazing.  I need that to become a great outfielder and that is what I have worked very hard on every year to become better at.  I love being able to take hits away from opposing batters, especially if they (the other team) are taking them away from me (big laugh).

 

MLB reports:  The MLB reports crystal ball sees you arriving in San Diego as early as this upcoming year and latest 2013.  When do you see yourself arriving in The Show?  What do you need to do to get there?

Jaff Decker:  That is great to hear (big grin).  I know I can play this game with the best of them.  I always have and when the chance comes, I don’t plan on missing it.  I have some things to iron out and I am working day and night to become that complete player that I know I can be.

 

MLB reports:  Did you always know that you would be a professional baseball player?  What would you be doing right now if you weren’t playing ball?

Jaff Decker:  Honestly I get that question a lot. I have asked my mom and dad the same thing.  They said they knew the time I first stepped on the field and was diving for balls, throwing guys out and just had a natural feel for the game.  Even when I was 4 or 5, I was playing with older boys and having to lie about my age so I could play with them.  I have always loved this game since I can remember.  I was constantly standing in front of the television and mimicking all the big leaguers stances.  I was even sleeping with my new bats or gloves.  There is honestly nothing else I could be doing right now… or ever.

 

MLB reports:  Last question Jaff:  What legacy do you want to leave in baseball?  What do you need to do to have a successful baseball career?

Jaff Decker:  I want to be remembered as the guy that played this game to the fullest, had fun doing it and played the best I could every time I stepped in-between the lines. Even if I didn’t have my best stuff every game, you can always say that I went out there with everything I had to be great.

 

Jaff Decker:  Thanks again Jonathan and I look forward to being back on MLB reports soon. Thanks for everything.  I have really enjoyed speaking with you!

 

Thank you to Jaff Decker for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports.  We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Jaff.  You can also  find Jaff Decker on Twitter (@JaffDecker22).  He may be a top MLB prospect, but yes- he does answer back!

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

On the Verge: Top MLB Prospect Jaff Decker

Sunday December 11, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  In this edition of On the Verge, I take a look at one of the prospects in the game today:  Jaff Decker of the San Diego Padres.  Today’s feature is part one of our two-part series on Jaff.  Coming up later this week, we will be bringing you my exclusive interview with Jaff Decker.  As part of the interview, Jaff talks baseball, including growing up and learning the game and his future in San Diego.  Keep an eye out, as I definitely enjoyed learning about Jaff and hearing about his story in his own words.  A must read for every baseball fan!

So why the excitement and hype surrounding Jaff Decker?  It is very simple.  While there are many prospects that play the game every year, there are few “special” ones that will leave an impact in the game.  Jaff Decker is one of those special players.  Born February 23rd, Jaff will be 22-years-of-age come opening day.  Drafted in the 1st round (42nd overall) by the Padres in 2008, San Diego uncovered a hidden gem in selecting Jaff.  Just take a look at the his numbers and you will be blown away.

Jaff played across two levels in his first professional season.  Playing between Rookie and Low-A Ball, Jaff put up an incredible .343 AVG, .513 OBP and .521 SLG.  He walked more than he struck out (57 to 41), and even stole 9 bases in 10 tries.  In 2009, Jaff moved to Fort Wayne (A-Ball) and continued his assault on minor league pitching.  He put up a .299 AVG, with a .442 OBP, .514 SLG and 16 home runs in only 104 games.  Jaff had close to a 1:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio (85/92).  The sky was limit at this point as most major baseball publications and analysts began to view Jaff as a can’t miss prospect.

2010 unfortunately was a difficult season for Jaff.  He moved to Lake Elsinore (High-A Ball).  Between injuries and slumps, Jaff started off the year very slowly and had a difficult time getting untracked.  He was able to salvage the year with a strong second half and still finished with 17 home runs in only 79 games.  He hit .262 with a strong .374 OBP and .500 SLG.  The walks and strikeouts though told a different story, as he walked only 47 times and struck out 80 times.  It appeared to me that he was pressing that year and was moving away from his usual patience approach.  I was looking forward to 2011 and to see what Jaff could do matched up against AA pitching.  I certainly was not disappointed.

Last season turned out to be Jaff’s best year in professional baseball.  The strong combination of power and patience displayed throughout his career continued to shine as he blossomed into one of the top slugging prospects in the game.  Playing a full season in AA, Jaff hit a career high 19 home runs, drove in 92 RBIs and scored 90 runs.  He stole 15 bases in 20 attempts, making him a viable 30/30 candidate in the future.  While his average was down to .237, the OBP remained a steady .373 to go along with a .417 SLG.  While Jaff has shown higher averages and OPS numbers in previous years, I feel that looking at his body of work as a whole, 2011 was the breakout year.  Jaff took 103 walks, while striking out 145 times.  So while his strikeouts should be cut down a bit, he was not pressing and went back to his patient ways.  A great sign of things to come.

When I think of comparables to Jaff Decker, I think of Adam Dunn and Nick Swisher.  Sluggers that hit a fair amount of home runs, take a ton of walks and get on base at high clip.  If Jaff stays on his current path, that is very good company to be in.  We should find out very soon, as I project Jaff Decker to likely make his major league debut sometime this year, with a full-time MLB job by 2013.  As he progresses to San Diego, Jaff will have new challenges to face.  A young developing team where he will be expected to become an offensive savior.  Ballpark dimensions that are not conducive to hitters.  A great deal of pressure on a young hitter.  But Jaff Decker appears to not only have the talent, but the right attitude and approach for his future role.  A smart young man who is well-mannered, he should fit in well in the laid back San Diego area.  For a team that has been looking for its next franchise player since the departure of Tony Gwynn, they made have indeed found him in Jaff Decker.  

Get to know Jaff Decker more intimately next week, as we feature my interview with the Padres prospect.  Stay tuned for part-two of our Jaff Decker series, coming up on MLB reports! 

 


 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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