The holiday season is usually a slow time for the organizations around Major League Baseball, and the Milwaukee Brewers have been no different this winter. It’s been nearly a month since the club has completed any transactions, so naturally there was a bit of rejoicing when Joshua Kusnick (agent39) jumped on the forum at Brewerfan.net to announce that one of his minor league clients had reached a deal with the Brewers. Kusnick didn’t immediately disclose who the player was, but some digging by members of the forum lead to the conclusion that Cody Decker was in fact the player that would be joining the Brewers’ ranks. That conclusion was later verified by Tommy Stokke and Adam McCalvy added that Decker’s minor league deal would not include an invitation to big league spring training.
Decker, who will turn 29 later this month, began his career as a 22nd round pick by the Padres back in 2009. Decker spent the first seven seasons of his career within the San Diego organization, including a brief 8 game, 12 plate appearance cup of coffee back in 2015 where he went hitless with five strikeouts. Decker does have a rather extensive track record as a minor league slugger, however, having batted a cumulative .262/.341/.520 with 173 home runs across eight minor league seasons. Known for his plus raw power, Decker’s hit 15+ homers in every season of his career and has popped 20+ balls over the fence four times.
Decker played for three different organizations in 2016, spending time briefly with the Rockies’ and Royals’ AAA affiliates but playing the bulk of the year in AA with the Red Sox. In 63 games with Portland, Decker batted .232/.284/.481 with 14 home runs. SoxProspects.com describes Decker as a “powerful hitter” who is “susceptible to high strikeout numbers” and true to form, he struck out in 30.7% of his 257 AA plate appearances last season.
Decker has played primarily at first base during his minor league career and has also seen time at third base and the outfield corners, though the Brewers have signed him as a convert to the catching position. According to Ken Rosenthal, Decker began dabbling behind the plate while playing under Pat Murphy in San Diego, and Murphy is now of course the Brewers’ bench coach. Decker could begin the season in Colorado Springs, serving as the backup to whichever player among the trio of Andrew Susac, Jett Bandy, and Manny Pina doesn’t break camp with the big league team. Decker is also slated to suit up for Israel during this spring’s World Baseball Classic.
Off the field, Decker is known to be quite an interesting character. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, has appeared on the television show “State of Affairs” among his other acting credits, and was the mastermind behind the prank that included convincing veteran Jeff Francoeur that an El Paso teammate was deaf and produced a short documentary about it. Can you imagine the fun that could be had with this guy and Tim Dillard on the same team?!
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference