Decker pleased with camp performance

Decker pleased with camp performance

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After missing much of the 2012 season, Padres Minor League outfielder Jaff Decker got what he wanted from his taste of big league camp this spring.

He got to play -- a lot. In fact, Decker, who on Friday was optioned to Minor League camp, led the team with 40 at-bats. He hit .175 with one home run and five RBIs but had played better of late.

On Thursday against the Netherlands, he hit a home run and had a double. But those hits didn't count toward Cactus League stats, not that Decker cared.

"It went really well," Decker said of his time in big league camp. "I wish I could forget about the first week. But then things started to click."

Decker, 23, hit a combined .201 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 56 games last season, but he missed much of the season after tearing the plantar tendon in his left foot.

Decker, who will likely begin the season at Triple-A Tucson, said that he's better off for his month in big league camp.

"I worked a lot with [hitting coach Phil Plantier]. ... I had some bad habits, but I was able to stay through the ball and use my hands," Decker said.

And unlike 2012, Decker can find solace in his good health. His foot feels fine and he's looking forward to having a big season.

"Waking up in the morning, I don't have to worry about whether [my foot] feels good or not," Decker said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.