For most of us, it might be the first time we hear the name of Cody Decker since he has spent most of his career in the Minor Leagues without ever being considered a top prospect. Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Decker has never posted extraordinary numbers at any level of the Minor Leagues. His best season was in 2010 at the Single-A level, when he batted .270 with 28 HRs, 90 RBI and a .352 OBP. Decker hasn't had an outstanding season since then.
He has only played eight games at the Major League level, but only because his main position is DH and with the Padres being in the NL, there was no actual reason for the San Diego organization to promote him.
Photo by: Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Decker was born in Santa Monica, California and attended UCLA for four years. In his time with the UCLA Bruins, Decker hit 47 home runs with 178 hits and 153 RBI. Not even his college years gave him a memorable season. However, the 29-year old became a folk hero in El Paso, Texas where he played two full seasons for the AAA-affiliate of the Padres, El Paso Chihuahuas.
In his time in El Paso, Decker earned the love of the community thanks to his continous engagement with the Chihuahuas fans and charitable work with different organizations such as No Limits for Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Children and local animal rescue groups. Last Wednesday, the Chihuahuas hosted a "Cody Decker Bobblehead Night" to remember his impact on the El Paso community.
Decker is also well-known as a prankster, with some of his pranks being recorded and showed on Southwest University Park (Chihuahuas stadium) during games. Decker's sense of humor brought him to Keith Olbermann's show on ESPN two years ago, who wore Chihuahuas merchandise on-air a few times. Decker and Olbermann discussed Decker's pranks and his short career as an actor.
Decker's first Minor League contract ended last year and signed with the Royals on December, where he reported to the Triple A-afilliate the Omaha Storm Chasers. The Royals traded him to the Colorado Rockies on April and was released on May 17th.
What can the Red Sox expect from a 29-year old Minor League player who has only played in the MLB for less than ten games?
Since Decker reported to AA for the first time since 2013, there's little reason for us to believe that he will be wearing a Red Sox uniform any time soon. But Decker's antics and leadership is something that can't be measured with numbers. Maybe he won't have a batting aveage higher than .280, but he will be a leader for the Red Sox prospects in the AA and AAA level. With names such as Andrew Benintendi, Anderson Espinoza and Yoan Moncada being in the Red Sox news almost every day, an outsider might be needed to serve as a reminder that Minor League baseball is all about developing and having fun; and Decker's experience will provide that.
Here are a couple of links to learn more about Decker's impact with the Chihuahuas: