SURPRISE, Ariz. — Baseball is full of fun characters that come from all walks of life, but Cody Decker, now playing for the Kansas City Royals, might be the most interesting of them all.
Decker, 29, recently signed a minor league contract with the Royals after seven seasons with the Padres organization in which he played in just eight games at the major league level, but that doesn’t scratch the surface of what he does off the field.
The UCLA graduate has starred in high school plays, took film classes at UCLA, has cameo’d in ‘State of Affairs’ on NBC, and is the proud owner of a Screen Actors Guild card.
With that, he can bring an interesting dimension to a clubhouse and he can play multiple positions. In Friday’s split-squad game against the Angels in Surprise, he was playing first base, but can play all over the field and is up for any task.
“Anything they ask of me,” Decker said. “I can play multiple positions, can bring some pretty good thump off the bench, and I’m pretty decent in the clubhouse. I think this has been a good fit for me thus far, and I hope I can really help them.”
The thump was certainly there on Friday as he clubbed a home run to left along with slapping a single up the middle. He did however commit an error at first base, but let’s stay with the positives.
Manager Ned Yost has an interesting decision to make on whether or not he will make the roster, but he will most likely end up in Triple-A to start the season. He seems to enjoy playing under Yost and has gotten a good impression from him in the short time he has been with the club.
“[Yost] keeps it extremely loose,” Decker said. “He seems to know what each guy needs and keeps a good loose clubhouse and keeps a tightly ran game and everyone plays to their strengths; it’s phenomenal to watch. Last year in the playoffs was like watching a clinic on how to win a game, it was fantastic to watch.”
Last year’s playoffs bring up an interesting predicament because coming to a team that is fresh off a World Series championship could cause some friction, but Decker has been welcomed nicely.
“Everyone here has been unbelievably welcoming,” Decker said. “I mean, this has been an incredibly great clubhouse to be a part of. So at no point have I been made to feel like the ‘new guy.’ I feel just as much apart of this as anybody else and it’s a fun, fun team.”
He may not make the club when camp breaks, but he will be a welcome addition to any clubhouse, especially if you want to talk movies.