Nick Decker, the Red Sox 2018 second-round pick, is something of an enigma entering the 2019 season. The young lefty was a dual-threat player in high school, showing promise as both a pitcher and a catcher. However, despite his ability to pitch, the Red Sox decided to develop him as an outfield prospect. While he didn’t get much time to prove himself in 2018, the lefty’s high ceiling has earned made him the 13th-ranked prospect in the Red Sox farm system.
Red Sox Prospects: Nick Decker
As previously mentioned, Decker was the Red Sox second-round pick in the 2018 MLB amateur draft. Because he was selected by the Red Sox, he naturally suffered a serious injury which limited his minor league action. (Seriously, this happened to just about everyone in 2018). Decker injured his wrist during a swing, prematurely ending his 2018 season after just five plate appearances. The good news is that Decker should be back and healthy for the start of the 2019 season. The bad news is that there isn’t much to go off when evaluating him.
Based on his build alone, Decker has the potential to be a decent power hitter at the next level. The 6’-0”, 200-pound lefty has a natural lofted swing which helps put the ball in the air. As is natural with most high schoolers, his swing is a little long and he can’t consistently hit for power. That said, this should iron itself out as he develops and climbs through the minors.
Defensively, there’s a lot to like about Decker. He played center field in high school, but will almost certainly move to a corner outfield spot in the future. While he doesn’t quite have the range to play center, he can still cover a good amount of ground and has an above-average arm. Defensively, he could easily stick at right field as a major leaguer.
What to Work On
Obviously, a 19-year old prospect who missed the majority of his first season is going to have a lot to work on. First and foremost, he’ll need to shore up his swing so he can make the most of his natural power potential. The Sox will probably keep him in center field in the short term, but at some point in time, he will have to learn how to play a corner outfield position.
Basically, right now he’s no different than any other high school prospect. He’s never faced competition this good before, and he’ll need to adjust to facing the best of the best. His ceiling is higher than most in the organization, so he should be up for the task.
Being as young as he is, Decker is a long way from being ready for the major league level. He has a lot of raw skill but still needs to develop his swing and learn a new outfield position. Having just five professional plate appearances to his name, Decker will probably start the season with the Low-A Greenville Drive.
Don’t expect to see Decker around any time soon. He’ll probably need at least one full season in Single-A before he’s ready to face off against AA competition. From there, the Red Sox will try to teach him how to play left or right field. He certainly has the ability to be a major league player, but he’s still a ways away. Look for him to make his debut sometime around 2022.