Has Mike Baxter Put It Together with his Hometown Team?

By Sam Maxwell

Every single one of us who ever played baseball as a kid has dreamed of playing for our hometown team. Whether it’s making the game-saving catch or hitting a walk-off home run, the scenarios have played out over and over in our heads. Mike Baxter is not only living that dream, but quickly became a New York Mets legend when he destroyed his collar bone saving the 1st no-hitter in his hometown team’s history. Aside from that short-term thrill that will last for all-time, there is certainly a possibility Whitestone’s own could much more than just that.

After starting off slowly once off the DL, Mike Baxter has gotten back into the Major League groove as of late. He will most likely never be a superstar, but there is certainly a possibility his numbers are sustainable. Even though his current line is in small-sample size form, (.306 AVG, .429 OBP, .459 SLG in 105 AB), his .406 Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) speaks volumes of his hitting skills. His strikeout rate is rather high at 21%, which means that when he makes contact, he generally hits ’em where they ain’t. With a career-high 15.2% walk rate, he is buying into the organizational approach by generally waiting for a pitch he can handle. Without even looking at the numbers and just using our Metsian eyes, we see a young man battling every time out, working hard for his playing time and making the most of it, whether it be pinch-hitting appearances or starting opportunities.

There probably isn’t an MVP trophy in Mike Baxter’s future, and you will never mistaken him for Josh Hamilton or Joey Votto. There is a huge possibility, however, that we are seeing the birth of a fantastic contact hitter, who could have a huge role in the New York Mets’ next championship.