“Josh Satin can hit.” Terry Collins summed it up in four words. Four hits in two days prompted the comment from Collins, and many hits over parts of six seasons in the minor leagues prove it to be true. This stint as Mets first baseman is a new chapter in Satin’s baseball life. It seemed to be over with the Mets after last season but he has somehow made it back to the major leagues.
Josh has never been a prospect. He was drafted out of UC-Berkeley in 2008, when he was already 23 years old. On paper his path to the majors was simple. He played at every level from low-A to AAA, never skipping or falling back along the way. He quickly made it to AA. However, once he was in Binghamton he stayed there for a little while. He was, of course, a solid hitter but in the field he shuffled between first and second base and even played a few games at third base for the B-Mets in 2010 and 2011. By the time he was playing for the Bisons in 2012 he primarily played first base.
Unfortunately, Satin never really stood out as a fielder. The combination of non-prospect age and mediocre fielding lead him to a career as a minor league utility player. While the versatility was seemingly a positive, the lack of stability meant it would be hard to get any consistent playing time in the major leagues.
When he did make it to the Mets in 2011 he appeared in 15 games. In 2012 he only appeared in one game for the Mets, struck out, and was designated for assignment. According to Kevin Burkhardt, the single 2012 at-bat opened Satin’s eyes to changes he would finally make to approach at the plate. Satin’s success at the plate was consistent but the consistency seemed to defy all logic as his swing was long and nobody thought the success would continue as he moved to each new level. His ability to recognize pitches made up for the time lost in his swing and the hits would keep on coming. But, as Burkhardt noted, that one strikeout stood out to Josh. He changed the swing that had carried him through college and most of the minor leagues.
And Josh Satin made it back to the Mets.
After Satin was designated for assignment last season it looked as if his next shot at the majors would be with another organization. He had lost his spot on the 40-man roster and the Mets were playing Justin Turner, Jordany Valdespin, Andrew Brown, and just about anybody else in spots Satin could have appeared.
It took an underperforming first baseman and injuries to two backup first basemen for Josh Satin to get consistent playing time with the Mets. Fortunately for the Mets and Josh, he has brought his .420 OBP from Las Vegas to New York, where he has gotten on base in half of his plate appearances.
Josh’s batting average has never been lower than .286 in a season, his OBP never lower than .370. In his best season, 2011, he hit 43 doubles and his OPS was .906. His offensive production has simply never stopped or even slowed.
Josh Satin is an everyday player trapped in a utility infielder’s career. Hopefully the rest of that career will be spent in the major leagues.