DeCecco mug -- mavericksBy Scott Barancik, editor

One of the things I enjoy most about running this website is ‘discovering’ ballplayers we didn’t know were Jewish, and then introducing them to you.

Today it’s my honor to welcome home the newest member of the Jewish baseball family: Seattle Mariners prospect Scott Dececco.

A New Jersey native who turns 23 tomorrow (May 8), DeCecco says his mother’s entire family is Jewish and that he identifies as Jewish. When asked via Twitter if he would feel comfortable being listed on Jewish Baseball News, the southpaw replied, “Yeah, that would be awesome.”

DeCecco was selected in the 21st round of the 2012 amateur draft out of the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he held the career strikeout record. He made his professional debut with the A-short-season Everett AquaSox that same year, going 2-4 with a 5.95 ERA. In 2013 he was a workhorse, pitching 150 innings across 27 starts, most of them in Single-A but ending the season in A-advanced. He finished a combined 10-9 with a 4.26 ERA.

DeCecco picked up in 2014 where he left off in 2013, with the A-advanced High Desert Mavericks. After a nightmarish beginning — he gave up 5 earned runs over 2/3 of an inning of relief — the 6-foot-tall former criminal justice major  has settled down. He currently is 1-2 with a 6.12 ERA, including 5.03 as a starter.

In a January 2013 interview, DeCecco was asked what set him apart from other Mariners pitching prospects. “What I believe sets me apart is my work ethic, being a lefty and the determination I have,” he answered. “I feel guilty if I’m not trying to find a way to get better every day. I’m in the gym almost every day or am trying to mentally prepare myself by reading books and studying myself through video.”

To welcome Scott Dececco to our small but proud community, please tweet him at @Dececco33.

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