Last night Josh Satin knocked in his very first MLB game-winning RBI – way to go kid. Only, Josh Satin isn’t exactly a kid anymore. He is twenty-eight years old, and has been a mainstay in the Mets minor league system for the better part of the last six seasons. He was selected by the Mets in the sixth round of the 2008 amateur draft, and finally got his first taste of the big leagues during the 2011 September call-ups. He played in fifteen games down the stretch, but only managed one major league game during the entire 2012 season.
This year, Ike Davis‘ poor performance and eventual demotion hastened Satin’s call-up from Las Vegas, where he was hitting .305 in 220 plate appearances, with nine home runs and thirty-two runs batted in. At the time he sported a robust .420 OBP and was slugging at a .491 clip. In 2,256 total at-bats, Josh Satin boasts a respectable minor league triple slash of .302/.398/.465, with 173 doubles, sixty home runs and 322 runs batted in.
His 2013 Mets season began back on June 12th when he appeared as a pinch-hitter. Since then, he’s appeared in sixty-five total games, making twenty three more pinch-hitting appearances, fifteen starts at third base and twenty-seven at first base.
He is batting .284 this season after 172 at-bats, which includes going 4 for 7 over his last two games. Josh has only two home runs, fourteen doubles and fifteen runs batted in to go with a light .398 slugging average. However, he boasts a pleasing .380 OBP. He, like many of the younger Mets have had trouble delivering two out base hits. As a frequent middle of the order hitter this season, he is batting .217 with two outs and RiSP, while otherwise batting .275 with RiSP. With general runners on base, he creeps up to a .289 mark.
Obviously, the big knock against Josh Satin is that he does not hit for power. Teams traditionally need more slugging production from their corner infielders. In 2011 during a combined season with Binghamton and Buffalo, Josh Satin batted .323 in 483 plate appearances, with twelve home runs, a crunchy forty-two doubles, and seventy-six RBI. His OBP was .411 and had a .495 slugging average. Last year in a full season with Buffalo, he batted .286, slugged .442, with a .391 OBP. Josh connected on fourteen home runs and sixty runs batted in. So far, his only two major league home runs have both come this season.
There are recent examples of light-hitting first basemen playing on championship teams. Hal Morris of the ’90 Reds, Mark Grace of the ’01 DBacks, and former Mets player Doug Mientkiewicz of the ’04 Red Sox are just a few. It is unlikely Josh Satin would ever unseat David Wright at third base. So, if Josh Satin does in fact have a future with the New York Mets, it seems to be at first base.
As we know, first base is currently a muddled situation, but still primarily featuring Ike Davis and Lucas Duda as the top contenders heading into the 2014 season, unless that is, Sandy Alderson makes an impactful acquisition. In order to let Josh Satin alleviate the Mets of their first base dilemma, Sandy Alderson will no doubt need to import much needed power production elsewhere. Only then can Josh Satin be considered a viable solution at first.
Like I said, he’s is a good kid, but one who may unfortunately be showcasing himself for playing somewhere else next season. He seems like a Sandy Alderson guy, displaying a consistently high on-base percentage, but his lack of power is something I’m afraid the Mets can not overlook. He probably still fits in the second tier of Mets prospects along with Josh Edgin, Jeremy Hefner, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Reese Havens and a few others. Or maybe that is undervaluing him? The off-season may tell. As a receiving club, I would certainly consider him an intriguing piece of a greater trade package, but certainly not a hook player.
Josh Satin has been a refreshing player to watch this season, however, he is in a pickle. I hope he continues to make the best of his remaining opportunity.