Decker with the Tampa Bay Rays
|Tampa Bay Rays|
February 23, 1990 |
|June 20, 2013, for the San Diego Padres|
(through 2015 season)
|Runs batted in||3|
Jaff Kyle Decker (pronounced "Jeff"; born February 23, 1990) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Decker grew up in neighboring Peoria, where he attended Sunrise Mountain High School. As a senior, in 2008, Decker was named the Arizona state high school baseball player of the year.
The San Diego Padres selected Decker in the first round, with the 42nd overall selection, of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. Decker played the full 2009 season with the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps, putting up a .299 batting average and .956 OPS in 104 games. He was ranked among Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects heading into 2010.
Promoted to the Advanced Class-A Lake Elsinore Storm in 2010, Decker hit .262 with a .874 OPS, but he was limited to 79 games by injuries. Placed with the Double-A San Antonio Missions in 2011, Decker's average fell to .236, but he hit 19 home runs, stole 15 bases, and scored 90 runs in 133 games, holding his OPS at .790. Decker was added to the Padres 40-man roster over the winter and again started 2012 in Double-A. He suffered with plantar fasciitis early in the season and then tore his plantar tendon on May 31. This limited him to only 56 games and a .201 average.
Decker began 2013 with the Triple-A Tucson Padres and shuttled between Tucson and the Major League club.
San Diego Padres
Dacker was called up to the Padres for the first time on June 12, 2013 to replace Cameron Maybin who was placed on the disabled list, but he was optioned back to Triple-A on June 14 without appearing in a game. He was recalled on June 19 when Everth Cabrera went on the disabled list, and made two pinch-hitting appearances where he walked and reached on an error before being sent back to Triple-A. He reached the big leagues for a third stint on August 10 when Carlos Quentin was placed on the DL. On August 12, 2013, Decker recorded his first major league hit, a solo home run off of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacín during a 14-2 loss. Decker made 7 starts for the Padres in left field in August, playing in 13 games overall on the year, collecting 4 hits in 26 at-bats. The Padres returned Decker to Triple-A on August 26 when Reymond Fuentes was called up, and he stayed in Tucson when rosters expanded in September.
Decker was designated for assignment by the Padres on November 20, 2013, to clear room on the 40-man roster.
On November 25, 2013, Decker was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Miles Mikolas for Alex Dickerson. He was optioned to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians on March 25, 2014. On the 25th of August, 2014, while on the road against the Columbus Clippers, the Official Jaff Decker Fan Club was created. They will now be a fixture in section 27 at Huntington Park to root on their favorite left fielder whenever he is in town. As of 2015 the fan club disbanded due to internal problems. Section 27 is now home to the Pakalnis boosters raising money for colon cancer.
Tampa Bay Rays
On January 22, 2016, Decker signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Decker's first name is pronounced 'Jeff'. He was named in honor of his uncle, who died in military service. Decker's grandfather intended to name his son 'Jeff', but the hospital nurse recorded it as 'Jaff', and the spelling was passed on to his nephew.
- "98 players born in Arizona". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
|archive-url=is malformed: timestamp (help)
- Obert, Richard (March 19, 2009). "Decker influence helps Sunrise Mtn.". AZcentral.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Padres sign first-round compensation pick Jaff Decker". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. June 21, 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Moore, Jack (June 12, 2013). "Padres call up Jaff Decker". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Brock, Corey (March 4, 2013). "Finally healthy, Decker looks to stick with Padres". MLB.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Brock, Corey (June 12, 2013). "Taking Maybin's spot, Decker gets first call to bigs". MLB.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Padres recall OF Jaff Decker from Triple-A Tucson and place SS Everth Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. June 19, 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Warnemuende, Jeremy (August 10, 2013). "Decker to see more time in third big league stint". MLB.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Center, Bill (August 26, 2013). "CF Fuentes makes major league debut". U-TSanDiego.com. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
- Lara-Cinisomo, Vince (November 25, 2013). "DFA Roundup: Padres Deal Jaff Decker, Two Others". Baseball America. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
- Gleeman, Aaron (November 25, 2013). "Pirates acquire Jaff Decker from Padres, designate Garrett Jones for assignment". Hardball Talk. NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
- "Mis-spelled name, lifelong legacy". WANE.com. September 11, 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.