The CBB continues our countdown to the 2009 College Baseball season with the Top 50 players to watch in the season. We will be providing one player each day (Monday-Saturday) until we reach number 1. We continue our list today with junior outfielder Matt den Dekker of Florida.
He is a native of Fort Lauderdale Florida where he attended Westminster Academy. He came onto the national scene during his high school days by being named to the Louisville Slugger First Team All-American team, second team All-State, and first team All-County during his senior campaign in 2006. His senior year of high school saw him hit .455 with 34 runs scored, 20 RBI, and seven homers in 26 games.
As a freshman, den Dekker saw immediate action for the Gators as he played in 56 games with 42 starts. He struggled at the plate with a .234 average with seven homers and 25 RBI as he adjusted to college baseball. He did end up picking up five stolen bases while picking up 21 walks. The SEC honored him by selecting him to the All-Freshman conference team.
His sophomore season was his real coming out party as he hit .333 with eight homers and 48 RBI in 55 games. He finished the year with 29 walks while being a perfect 20-20 on the basepaths. He was even better in SEC action as he hit .351 with five homers and 24 RBI. He was a First-team All-SEC selection and was selected to the SEC’s inaugural Defensive team.
After the 2008 season. Matt was invited to the 2008 Team USA Collegiate National Team trials where he hit .370 in the Trials. (We saw the Trials in Lynn MA and Newport RI). During the international portion of the schedule, he played in 24 games with 20 starts. He had a .229 average with one homer and nine RBI in 70 at bats.
We believe that Matt den Dekker will continue to develop into one of the top players in the SEC conference in 2009. He already has shown a drastic improvement since his freshman campaign and already has been a All-Conference first team member as a sophomore.
You can check out our full Top 50 by clicking here.