PEORIA, Ariz. — Cody Decker can still rake.
The former Santa Monica High School and UCLA star has wasted little time acclimating himself to the pros since being drafted in the 22nd round of the June Major League Baseball draft. He is currently second in the Arizona League with six homers and is hitting a cool .325 at the plate.
“I came in here struggling at first,” Decker said as he prepared for a night game against the Mesa Cubs on Thursday. “Once I started, I got my stroke back to where it used to be.”
Decker, who played first base and designated hitter at UCLA, has played mostly first for the Peoria Padres, but he said he was going to DH against Mesa.
Aside from learning on the job, Decker said the biggest difference between the Westside and Arizona is the heat.
“Peoria is hot. Really, really, really hot,” the slugger joked. “Today it is 110. The high could be 120.
“It is so hot I wonder who thought it was a good idea to put towns here.”
His team is currently second in the Arizona League and Decker thinks his team may make the postseason.
“We’ve been rolling since a slow start,” Decker said. “And I’ve been having a great time with it.”
Samohi softball’s Woo, Walker make CIF teams<p>
Santa Monica High School’s Emma Woo, a junior catcher, was named to the All-CIF Division IV team. Her battery mate, junior pitcher Celisha Walker, made the second team.
Head Coach Debbie Skaggs couldn’t be happier.
“They had great seasons,” she said. “We had a great season, too.
“We are just disappointed in our finish in CIF.”
The Vikings were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs in May.
With all but one player returning next season, Skaggs looks forward to another strong playoff run.
“We can do big things, but everybody will have to put in the time.”
SMC’s Taylor has high hopes for transfer<p>
Santa Monica College’s Head Coach Robert Taylor has a big one on the line.
E.J. Woods, a former Samohi and Crespi high school star, opted to leave UCLA’s football program earlier this month and has decided to attend SMC.
While it has been speculated that Woods would play for the Corsairs, Taylor said the safety has yet to workout with the team. Although, he said he’s 99 percent certain Woods will suit up for SMC in the fall.
Woods, who is facing a number of legal issues off the field, will compete for the strong safety spot, but Taylor said he’ll wait to see if he is ready to start.
“He hasn’t played a college football game yet,” Taylor said of Woods who didn’t play for UCLA as a freshman last year. “I’m sure he has some rust on him.”