As we draw towards the end of the season and wild card hopes slowly dissipate for the New York Mets, it might be time for Marlon Byrd to ease into a lesser role to have as take a glimpse at Matt den Dekker, just as John Buck steps aside for Travis d’Arnaud.
There’s still ten days before rosters expand, so Byrd can still be the word for now. But the way that den Dekker is crushing it in Vegas, I’d like to see what he can do in left or right field before this season expires.
There’s virtually no chance that den Dekker will supplant Juan Lagares in center, but if he’s as defensively apt as they say, lets see if he brings anything to the table at the corners.
Den Dekker, now 26, has reached a tipping point in his career. After a slow start since his return from a fractured right wrist he suffered in a Grapefruit League game that cost him nearly three months, the talented defender is turning it on with his bat.
Over the last ten games, den Dekker has batted .314/.429/.667 in 46 plate appearances with a 1.086 OPS. During that span he has scored ten runs while driving in ten, and has nine walks, a double, a triple and three home runs including a pair last night. Overall, he has raised his average to .287 with an .860 OPS in 45 games played.
I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do at the major league level. At his age he needs to stand and deliver, and the Mets should give him every opportunity to do so. Is he a piece of the puzzle or isn’t he? Only one way to find out.