At the big league level, Mets' keystoners put together a .663 OPS, 20th-best in all of Major League baseball. However, that number is dragged down by 39 plate appearances from Brad Emaus (.147/.256/.147 - .403 OPS) and 35 PA from Willie Harris (.619 OPS). The Mets of course began the season with Emaus playing nearly every day, but after that brief experiment turned sour, went with the sweeter flavors of Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner. If one includes only the contributions of Murphy, Tejada and Turner, the Mets' secondbase OPS rises to .688, which would have been good enough for 15th in baseball.
Second base does not appear to be an area of immediate need with some depth, and offensive and defensive minded options already lined up for 2012. If the Mets re-sign Jose Reyes, and if Daniel Murphy is healthy, those three players will again compete for reps with Murphy offering the most offense and Tejada the best defense.
On to the minors, where second basemen are usually made, not born...
The most frequent Bisons' second baseman in 2011 was Luis Hernandez, who turned 27 back in June in a season in which he hit .240/.280/.332 while playing 90 games at second. He is not, and has never, been a viable MLB option.
Note: Jordany Valdespin played seven games at second in triple-A and 25 in double-A in 2011, but spent more time at short stop (78 games in double-A and 20 in triple-A). Nonetheless, because I believe that his future lies at second base, he deserves mention here. Scouts I've talked to have been skeptical that he has either the arm or the hands to play shortstop everyday in the big leagues. At the plate, he was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2011 in the Mets system, bar none. He bopped 17 home runs as part of a .297/.341/.483 line as a 23-year old and hit his way out of double-A. He struggled in his first 27 games in AAA, where his aggressive approach was exposed: .280/.304/.411 with four walks and 25 strikeouts.
Valdespin is physically gifted, but has clashed with teammates and coaches over the years. Even while displaying exceptional progress, similar issues followed him in 2011, although the volume on such concerns was more muted given his offensive excellence. In a late season radio interview on the Bisons' radio network, Hitting Coach Mike Easler summed up Valdespin's strengths and weaknesses:
"Biggest key for Jordany is to stay within himself...Terrific batspeed... He's a gamer. He's a baseball player. ... He's just a real good ballplayer... He has to learn to play the game hard, not just when he feels like it...We got a jewel right there."
Hey, guess who led double-A Binghamton in games played at second base? If you had Reese Havens at 51, you win. Havens, who will turn 25 on Thursday, hit .289/.372/.455 in 58 games in double-A. In a B-Mets uniform, Havens drew more walks than Valdespin by a score of 27 to 21, in just over half the number of games, 58 for Havens, 107 for Valdespin. This advantage in plate discipline is very important. So to is the fact that Havens is a year older.
When Havens has played, he's hit. However, he'll be 25 on Opening Day 2012, so his time is now. I suspect he will break camp as Buffalo's second baseman, with Valdespin across the bag at shortstop.
The guy who played the second-most games at second for the 2011 B-Mets? Josh Satin of course. He mixed 10 games at first, with 37 at second and 37 at third while hitting .325/.423/.538 at AA and .323/.411/.495 in 132 games between AA and triple-A at age 26. He will go to spring training with a shot of making the team as a 25th man, but it's hard to see how a team could carry Justin Turner and Satin on the same 25-man roster if Turner is not starting everyday.