Former Santa Monica High baseball star Cody Decker had such a dreadful junior season at UCLA he wasn’t selected in any round of the major league draft.
It was a bitter disappointment for Decker as several teammates were drafted in the early rounds and started their professional careers.
But Decker returned to UCLA, led the Pac-10 Conference with 21 homeruns and was chosen in the 22nd round by the San Diego Padres.
Decker had a great season and on Monday was named the Arizona Rookie League Player of the Year by Topps and Minor League Baseball.
Previously, he had been named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Decker led the league in home runs with 15, RBI with 63, doubles with 21, extra base hits with 39 and slugging percentage (.717 in 52 games).
It was no surprise locally as Decker is the best power hitter of the recent Samohi past and before that was the leading home run hitter in the history of the Santa Monica Little League.
Decker drew praise last season from then-Samohi baseball coach Rob Duron for attending practice several times to talk to the current Viking players. And when UCLA’s season ended Decker came to Samohi’s CIF playoff game.
“Cody is a quality person who will be a success in anything he chooses to do in life,” said Kevin Brockway, who was Decker’s Samohi coach and is now at a college in Florida.
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