"I think he's gaining a plan at the plate. ... The more he gains a plan and stays with it, the more consistent he's going to be. But he has skills. He has quick hands, and he can sure hit a fastball."
Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens on Matt den Dekker:
“One of the reasons he probably struck out too much is he missed some pitches he should have hit early in the count. ...He dropped his barrel a little bit, gets a little bit of length [with his swing]. We’re doing some things to kind of close him up a little bit and try to get him on top of the baseball. … And then it’s a matter of recognizing some pitches. He swings at some breaking balls in the dirt. We’ve got to get him to recognize spin down.” (via ESPNNY.com)Note that both coaches discussed both mechanics and approach/discipline issues for each young hitter. Emphasis added in both bases.
The Hudgens quote was part of a longer Adam Rubin piece about the Mets' centerfield situation where den Dekker was clearly the Mets' fourth option on Opening Day, behind in order, the injured trio of Andres Torres, Scott Hairston and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, which of course makes perfect sense.
The other good news that that the top three options are all healing, and both Valdespin and den Dekker should be headed back to the minors to refine their game. Of course, Valdespin is still learning center field. Nieuwenhuis is close, and was hoping to play in minor league games this week, while
Torres Hairston is now scheduled to play in a minor league game Tuesday.