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Cody Decker

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Cody Marshall Decker

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[edit] Biographical Information

Cody Decker was a MVP in his first minor league season.

[edit] Amateur Career

Decker hit .475 with a school-record 14 home runs (his school had produced a couple major league outfielders) as a high school sophomore. He fell to .420 as a junior then hit .490 as a senior with 11 home runs (tied for third-most in Southern California). He batted .302/.343/.571 as a part-timer a college freshman at UCLA. In 2007, the sophomore hit .307/.376/.583 with 14 HR and 57 RBI in 54 games. He was one of three All-Pacific-10 Conference first basemen, along with Brett Wallace and David Cooper. He fell to .218/.340/.382 as a junior at DH and went undrafted. He rebounded and then some as a senior, producing at a .322/.434/.683 clip with 21 dingers, 55 runs and 55 RBI in 56 contests. He was third in the Pac-10 in slugging (after Dillon Baird and Jason Kipnis), fifth in runs, tied for fourth in total bases (136), first in home runs and 4th in walks (42). He tied for 20th in NCAA Division I in homers. He was again All-Pac-10. His 43 homers in college tied Ryan McGuire for 7th on the UCLA career list.

[edit] Minors

He was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 22nd round of the 2009 amateur draft. The scout was Brendan Hause. He spent most of that year with the AZL Padres, hitting .354/.421/.717. He led the Arizona League in doubles (21, one ahead of Chris Kersten), home runs (15, as many as runner-up Rymer Liriano's 8 and the #3 player's 7 combined), RBI (10 more than runner-up Randal Grichuk, a first-round pick), slugging (75 points ahead of Jesus Brito), OPS (57 points ahead of Brito), total bases (142), extra-base hits (39), fielding percentage at 1B (.995), assists at first (28) and double plays by a first baseman (39). He was also second in hits (70, 6 behind Grichuk), third in average (after Brito and Mike Trout), fourth in OBP and fourth in runs (46). He was named the AZL All-Star first baseman and beat out players such as Trout, Brito, Liriano and Grichuk to win league MVP. Oddly, he was the second straight AZL Padres player named Decker to be named league MVP, following the unrelated Jaff Decker (2008). He was also briefly with the Fort Wayne TinCaps that year, going 2 for 18 with a double and six walks. Baseball America did not name him one of the AZL's top 20 prospects for 2009 despite his near-Triple Crown season, presumably due to his age.

With the Lake Elsinore Storm the next season, he hit .278/.352/.513 with 35 doubles, 28 homers and 90 RBIs. He was among the California League leaders in home runs (4th, between Rich Poythress and Brandon Barnes), doubles (6th), RBI (7th, between Jeremy Barfield and Mike Spina) and total bases (260, tied for 9th). He put up similar numbers to Jaff Decker for a double-decker offense for the Storm. Among San Diego farmhands, he was tied for second in doubles (behind fellow Jewish slugger Nate Freiman), tied for first in home runs (with Matt Clark) and second in RBI (7 shy of Clark). He did not make the postseason All-Star team this time, as Paul Goldschmidt was chosen at 1B.

Decker missed much of 2011 with a right ankle sprain but remained effective from a power standpoint with the San Antonio Missions (.237/.289/.525, 38 RBI, 13 HR in 49 G) and AZL Padres (.344/.436/.594 on a rehab stint). In 2012, he batted .263/.367/.540 with 25 home runs in 104 games for San Antonio and .298/.393/.690 with 4 homers in 32 contests for the Tucson Padres. He was second in the Texas League in homers (3 behind Mike Olt, one ahead of Freiman). Not having a set position (playing 1B, OF and DH), he failed to make the league All-Star team, with teammate Freiman being picked at first. He was second in the Padres chain in home runs (behind Jedd Gyorko) and 4th in RBI.

Decker remained teammates with Freiman on the Israeli national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, going 1 for 10 with two walks and two RBI as the starting left fielder (joining Shawn Green, Ben Guez and Joc Pederson in the outfield) while Freiman led the offense. Israel made it to the finals of their qualifier before losing out to Spain. In the finale, Decker had his best game when it mattered most. Hitting cleanup, he struck out against Eric González in the first but recovered. He singled in the third, driving in Pederson and knocking out González to put Israel up, 3-1. He drew a bases-loaded walk from Antonio Noguera in the 4th, forcing in Jake Lemmerman for a 6-4 lead, then walked against Eddie Morlan his next trip up. Robbie Widlansky pinch-hit for him in the 8th against Remigio Leal with a 7-6 deficit, two on and one out and Israel went on to lose, 9-7.

[edit] Notable Achievements

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