Spring Training Battles: Will Consistency be Rewarded at First Base?

lucas duda ike davis

In an article written Monday for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff asked 30 questions, one for each major league team as they head to spring training. Of the Mets, Davidoff asked the following.

“Who is the starting first baseman, and does the loser of the Ike Davis/Lucas Duda competition stick around?”

The answer to the first part of this question is still very much up in the air and will come down to pure production come springtime, but if overall consistency can serve as a projector, Josh Satin may win at least part of that starting job. We all want facts and stats to determine 2014’s starting First Baseman, and for those we will need to hang on a bit longer and wait for spring training to start. But until then, why not have a little fun? Here are Josh Satin’s slash lines (AVG/OBP/SLG) in each level of pro ball.

satin stats

Satin, through each tour in the Mets’ organization rarely faltered. His numbers dipped a bit when he joined the Mets’ midseason in 2013 but that was to be expected. It doesn’t appear that his numbers fell enough to suggest banishment to the minors forever. What is a bit worrisome is Satin’s K% of 25.3% that he posted once he joined the the big league team. This clip was the highest he had every posted. However, Satin accompanied that percentage with a 13.6 BB%, which in his first year of pro ball is a pretty nice mark. For a player who does not rely on raw power but on sharp, well-placed line drives a high BB% would be key in his overall success. Satin’s tremendous On Base Percentages throughout his minor league career offer encouragement that he may be able to bring those to the Majors.

This is not to suggest that Davis and Duda did not enjoy similar success in the Minors, they did. But we have seen both men prove less than successful in the Major Leagues. With Davis’ batting average hovering around .216 in his last two seasons and Duda posting a career -0.8 Wins Above Replacement, it is hard to figure that it will take a phenomenal spring for Satin to slide into that starting job. Ironically, the fact that Satin has played the least in the Major Leagues is what may prove to benefit him most significantly in the competition. Satin, with a strong spring could spark Collins to opt with the “lets try this guy” approach.

As for the second question offered by Davidoff, will the loser of the Davis/Duda competition stick around? I can’t imagine so and Sandy Alderson sounded like the loser could very well go to Triple-A, in his interview on WFAN on Tuesday, even adding that both still have minor league options.

Both Davis and Duda bat left-handed while Satin bats Righty. Joe DeCaro of MetsMerized offered an insightful article on the possibility of a platoon situation involving Satin and Davis with Duda falling by the wayside. The “winner” of this competition should prove to be the second piece of a platoon with Satin at First Base, while the loser heads back to AAA.

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