Call me crazy, but I’d like to see Josh Satin hitting cleanup.
I think he can hit and be very productive on the Major League level. Yes, he took several years to make it to the majors, but let’s also not forget that his path to the bigs was blocked by David Wright at third base and Ike Davis at first base.
He is most certainly not a prototypical cleanup hitter and no one will ever confuse him with Dave Kingman, but as the roster is currently constituted, it may be worth a shot.
I happen to be a fan of Satin. Some may think he is a marginal player, at best. I think he should get a serious crack at an everyday job. His final stat line in 2013 was only .279 with three home runs and 17 RBI and the sample size was only 221 plate appearances with 190 official at-bats; but when he was given a chance to get into the lineup on a regular basis, he produced. In 42 games as a starter, he hit .293 and 16 of his 46 base hits were for extra bases. While he’s not a power hitter; Citi Field isn’t a power hitter’s park. We need someone hitting behind Wright in the lineup that can drive runners in. Over 600 at bats, Josh projects as a potential 40 double man, which is gap power.
So why have a man with only gap power hitting cleanup? Look at who is ahead in the batting order –Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, and Wright. Get any one of these men on base in the first inning and Satin has a chance to drive them in. If Eric Young gets on and Murphy and Wright fail to get him home, do we want Ike, Lucas Duda, or Chris Young being the last chance to drive him in? Or do we want another contact hitter that can drive EY home with a double in the gap or with a single if he steals second? If Murphy is standing on second (as the Doubles Hitting Machine he is) and Wright doesn’t get him in – again, we want another good contact hitter. If Wright is standing on first base, let him use his legs to steal second, then Satin can make contact and drive him in or Wright can come home on a ball in the gap.
The other team isn’t going to intentionally walk Satin or pitch around him out of fear of a home run and they won’t want to add another base runner for Chris Young, who may actually hit one out for a big inning. He’ll actually see pitches during his plate appearance.
Inserting either Duda or Davis as the starter at first and batting behind Wright in the cleanup spot won’t have the same effect. Duda will walk followed by a strikeout from Chris Young. Ike will likely strike out. Or if Chris Young is the cleanup hitter behind Wright, we’ll see the same thing. The end result would be one of the top batters in the lineup getting on base and stranded with frequency because of the lack of a contact hitter behind Captain America. Then we have the bottom half of an anemic offense coming up and we’re waiting another inning for the top of the order to come up again so we can start the whole process again.
And here’s an added benefit. Not only can Satin hit, he also gets on base. If he’s not in a situation where he’s in a position to drive in a runner, he’d be able to work out a walk while hitting in the lineup directly in front of someone with some power like Chris Young.
Josh has always hit in the minors. When he’s been given a chance (albeit limited) to play in the majors, he’s shown he can hit as well. Yes, it took him six years to break through in the majors, but he also had his path blocked and he’s played a traditional power position. If given the opportunity, and I mean a REAL opportunity – I think he can surprise.
Josh Satin has yet to prove anything at the Major League level over a sustained period of time other than that he deserves a chance. With the Mets roster as it currently stands, I feel he should get it. And call me crazy, but why not in the four spot?
(Photo Credit – Andrew Theodorakis/NY Daily News)