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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Don’t forget about Nick Decker

After missing pretty much all of 2018, Nick Decker can be easy to forget given the rest of the draft class. He hopes to change that in 2019.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
There are no Nick Decker photos available to me, so enjoy this hat.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is a big year coming up for the farm system as they look to take a step forward. The lower levels of the Red Sox have a lot of talent acquired over the last year or two, though it’s all unproven. Still, we know it’s a good group because we are now through twelve spots on our community top twenty list and this is the third member of the 2018 draft class, plus there’s one more from the 2017 international free agency class. This spot belongs to Nick Decker, who received 17 of 33 (52 percent) votes in a runaway win.

The Red Sox clearly had a strategy heading into last summer’s draft, as they went hard after power hitters that have some questions about their hit tool. It’s not really the profile we’re used to seeing in the Red Sox system, but this is the way the baseball world is moving, and it’s worth mentioning the organization seems higher on the development potential for these players’ hit tool than the general public. For all of the team’s questions about developing pitching, they’ve certainly earned the benefit of the doubt with pitching. With this pick, they went with a cold-weather outfielder in Nick Decker, who played his high school ball in New Jersey. He was just the second high school bat from the state to go in the first five rounds since Mike Trout. So, what I’m trying to say is the Red Sox clearly drafted the next Mike Trout. (Obvious joke is obvious)

Unfortunately, we are still waiting to see what he can do against professional pitching and what that power looks like in action with a wooden bat. The 64th overall pick last year only got to play in two games after being drafted before he went down with a wrist injury that caused him to miss the rest of the regular season. He did get back on the diamond for instructs this fall, though we don’t get numbers from that time.

As far as the scouting reports go, as we’ve alluded to before it comes down to power for Decker. This is his carrying tool, and it is the reason he was a second round pick and given an above-slot signing bonus to keep him from attending the University of Maryland. It’s plus power that could make him a 30+ homer player if everything goes right. Of course, that requires the hit tool reaching its peak. He isn’t horrible in this regard, to be fair, but the outfielder is looking at an average hit tool with some holes in his swing here and there. Defensively, he’s almost certainly destined for a move to the corner outfield, though the team will likely give him a little time in center field before he ultimately moves.

Looking ahead to the 2019 season, the biggest thing is simply staying on the field. The 19-year-old is already starting to become a forgotten man in this draft class with Triston Casas, Durbin Feltman and even guys like Brandon Howlett and Jarren Duran already earning some headlines. Decker, however, could be the best player from the class. Despite missing essentially all of 2018, Sox Prospects still has Decker projected for full-season ball in Greenville. If that’s where he ends up playing, it would feel a little aggressive but is worth the push if they feel he has the makeup to handle being pushed.

Here is our list so far:

  1. Michael Chavis
  2. Darwinzon Hernandez
  3. Triston Casas
  4. Bobby Dalbec
  5. Jay Groome
  6. Tanner Houck
  7. Durbin Feltman
  8. Bryan Mata
  9. Antoni Flores
  10. Mike Shawaryn
  11. C.J. Chatham
  12. Nick Decker

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number thirteen. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...