Are Davis and Duda getting Pipped by Josh Satin?

Josh Satin is flat out hitting since he’s been getting regular playing time.  Coming into today’s game, he was hitting .385 with a .500 OBP.  Yes, it’s a small sample size – just 39 official at bats, but he’s also drawn 9 walks and had 6 doubles.  So is he just a fluke?

He’s 28, after all.  If he was a guy who could hit at the Major League Level, wouldn’t he have been up here by now?

Let’s take a looksie…. shall we? He was an older player when he was drafted.  He was 23 when he was drafted in 2008.  By the time he started his minor league career, he was already older than many guys who had already started the climb and were starting to break in.  By the time spring training started after his rookie season in Kingsport and Brooklyn, he was already 24 years old.

At age 24, he was playing in class A Savannah before getting promoted to High A Port St. Lucie toward the end of the year.  The year was 2009.  He hit .284 in Savannah before hitting .364 in his final 7 games in St. Lucie.

In his age 25 year, he made it up to AA Binghamton after starting the season at St. Lucie.  He hit .316 at St. Lucie, playing second base.  It was at Binghamton that he began to transition to the corner infield.

What was going on in 2010 when Satin changed positions? Luis Castillo was the incumbent second baseman with two years left on his contract.  We know what happened to Castillo later, but there was also a very young Ruben Tejada that was getting a look at second on the major league level.  With second base potentially blocked, it was time to change positions.

But there was a problem.  First base was being blocked at the Major League Level by Ike Davis.  Third Base was being blocked by David Wright.  Daniel Murphy took over second base and now the three positions Josh Satin played were all blocked.

So in his age 26 season of 2011, Satin played some first base, he played some second base, and he played some third base.  He continued to hit – starting the season at AA where he hit .325.  He earned a promotion to AAA Buffalo and the tougher competition didn’t phase him.  He hit .317 there, too.

He earned a call up to the big club in September 2011 and saw limited action, hitting .200 in 25 plate appearances with 11 strikeouts.  When Ike went down with an injury, he was still only in AA and he wasn’t in a position to be able to grab the first base job at the time.

So in his age 27 season of 2012, he found himself in AAA.  There was no way he was cracking the roster out of Spring Training with Ike Davis back from the injury that sidelined Ike for most of 2011.  Ike had the horrible start, but the team kept Ike with the big club, so Josh stayed in AAA.  By the time his September call up came, Ike was playing well and he only managed one at bat.  At AAA, he hit .286 with 14 HR and a .391 OBP.

So coming into the 2013 season, Josh Satin found himself 28 years old.  At the age when most players would have made it already if they ever were going to, but because he had a later start than many of those around him and because his path to the bigs was blocked, he had never had any realistic opportunity to earn any playing time at the big league level.  So when Ike Davis continued to struggle, Josh continued to hit.  He hit .305 at Vegas, waiting for his chance.

Even when he was called up, he didn’t get starts at first.  Jordany Valdespin got a crack before he did, with Jordany playing second and Daniel Murphy shifting to first.  When Jordany didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, Daniel shifted back to second and Lucas Duda played first and Satin continued to ride the pine.  When Duda went down, Josh finally had his long awaited chance.

And he’s jumped on it.  He’s played his ass off.  He’s saying, “I’m here.  I belong.  I want this job.”

We’ll see if he can hang on to the job.  If he does, we may be smelling a couple of non-tenders.


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