Former Mets and Nationals outfielder Matt den Dekker has been named to the coaching staff at Charleston Southern University, the school announced today. He’ll work with the Buccaneers’ hitters and outfielders.
The 32-year-old den Dekker announced his retirement as a player last summer and, per CSU’s press release, returned to the University of Florida to serve as a student-assistant coach this past season. He’ll now take up a full-time coaching position at a Division-I program as he embarks on the next step in his baseball journey. At Charleston Southern, den Dekker will join a program that has produced a handful of draft picks over the past couple decades, including eventual big leaguers Tyler Thornburg, Bobby Parnell and R.J. Swindle.
“His time at Florida as a player and assistant yielded excellent results,” head coach Marc MacMillan said of den Dekker in today’s announcement, “and his Major League Baseball career earned him great respect from all that he came in contact with on a daily basis. The strong recommendations he received, his understanding of the importance of building relationships with our players; and both his knowledge and verbiage for hitting and outfield play made a lasting impression on me.”
We haven’t seen den Dekker in the big leagues since he briefly resurfaced with his original organization, the Mets, back in 2018. But he appeared in 166 games from 2013-18, batting a combined .223/.303/.337 while drawing plus marks for his defense at all three outfield positions.