Josh Satin, The Classic Moneyball Player

An article by posted on January 25, 2014 0 Comments

josh satin

Tim Rohan of the New York Times, wrote an extensive piece on Josh Satin this afternoon. He says that the 29-year old infielder has been taking this playing the outfield thing pretty seriously. Not willing to sit on his laurels and hope that he makes the team next Spring, he says Satin’s survival instincts kicked in.

“When the off-season began, Satin went to work, refining his body and working on his swing, which he retooled before last season. And he practiced playing the outfield, shagging fly balls and perfecting his footwork, his positioning and throwing arm, all to expand his repertory as a utility man and pinch-hitter that the Mets would not want to be without.”

Rohan says that Satin turned to Marlon Byrd for outfield advice, a solid defender himself. He is applying techniques and says the next step will be to play the outfield in spring training and keep improving.

Whether this experiment works for Satin or not, you have to hand it to him when it comes to initiative and drive. But let’s face it, Satin’s stock in trade is his bat and not his glove, and I found it interesting when Rohan referred to him as a classic Moneyball player.

He puts up valuable numbers at every level of baseball, Rohan writes, but is discounted because he lacks certain tools or does something — in Satin’s case, using a wavy, unorthodox swing he has since streamlined — that suggests he just won’t make it in the major leagues.

Satin may seem like an enigma, but actually he’s not. He’s a very refined hitter with some of the best on-base skills in the entire Mets system and I’m including the big league team as well.

The article points out that Satin’s .376 on-base percentage was the 14th-best figure among National League batters with at least 200 plate appearances. That’s higher than the OBP for Ryan Braun, Buster Posey and Bryce Harper. On the Mets, only David Wright (.390) had a higher figure among players who took part in more than just a couple of games.

I’ve been a big Josh Satin fan since 2012. Although too old to be considered a prospect any longer, he can carve out a nice little major league career as a late bloomer.

Teams are always on the lookout for righthanded batters who can drive in runs, keep a rally going, and even ignite one. Satin can do all those things and he adds value to any roster as long as his metrics hold. His career .398 on-base percentage in the minors, is no fluke.

If we end up keeping Ike Davis, and it certainly looks that way, Satin should get the majority of at-bats against lefthanded pitching. Or at least that’s the hope, but one never knows with Terry Collins.
Given both their lefty/righty splits, there’s some potential for tremendous production from first base for the Mets this season.

Here are their career splits:

Satin vs LHP:   .862 OPS – .152 ISO – .376 wOBA – .467 SLG – 145 wRC+

Davis vs RHP:  .827 OPS – .215 ISO – .357 wOBA – .471 SLG – 127 wRC+ 

In my opinion, if Davis gets all the starts at first base against right-handed pitching, it will be Lucas Duda who stands to lose the most playing time. Hence the Duda to the outfield whispers we heard last week.

This will be one of the more interesting storylines to follow after the Mets head to St. Lucie beginning 21 days from today.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.