At the big league level, even coming off the worst season of his professional career, the Mets are set with David Wright. I am willing to bet a full paycheck (of mine, not Wright's) that Wright, who from 2006-2008, was one of the very best players in baseball, will be the Mets third baseman to begin 2012. I believe that he will Met for Opening Day 2013, too, but after that, it's unclear whether he and the Mets will be right for each other. Moving Citi Field's walls in will help him, although by how much is difficult to say. For the Mets to be contenders in 2012, Wright would need to turn back the clock four years, shucking aside the concussion related problems, and yes, more recently, his broken back.
Secure in the knowledge that thirdbase is occupied, at least for the next year, and likely two, lets take a look at guys who played third base in the minors.
AAAIf you had Michael Fisher as the Bisons' leader in games played at the hot corner in 2011 with 51, entering the season in your office pool, raise your hand and take a bow. The 26-year old Fisher also played 13 games at second for the Bisons while hitting .259/.327/.351 in 66 games. The switch-hitter began the season with Binghamton, where he saw action at first, second and third while hitting .290/.329/.425. The Mets signed the 26-year old switch-hitter in May of 2010 to provide organizational depth, and in part, help the Gnats with a first-half pennant race.
Oh, you want to hear about Zach Lutz in this space? Sure, he hit .295/.380/.500 while turning 25 last June. He was limited to 35 games at third, 14 at first and 61 overall for Buffalo thanks to a hamstring issue, a broken finger, and then a concussion. He's a high-walk, high strikeout guy with walks in 11% of his plate appearances and strikeouts in 28%. What happens when he sees big league stuff? Lutz can hit, but he's played more than 72 games in a season just once in his five-year professional career. Injury prone just doesn't even seem like the right term. Anyway, finding employment as a bat-first right-handed corner guy off the bench is tough, just ask Nick Evans.
AA Eric Campbell, led the Binghamton Mets with 56 games played at third in 2011. After a very disappointing first half (.210/.334/.272), Campbell rebounded with a .311/.363/.466 line after the All-Star Break. Bottom line - he'll be 25 in 2011, coming off a down year in which he hit .247/.345/.343 in 126 games.
I guess this is the moment to address Josh Satin. Here are his games played by position and level:
AA AAA MLB2B 37 7 0
3B 37 22 1
1B 10 10 8
Tot 94 38 15
The 26-year old hit a combined .323/.411/.495 over 132 games between double-A Binghamton and triple-A Buffalo. That's a great season from a production standpoint. He works counts, as evidenced by his 13% walk rate and his 22% strikeout rate combined over AA and AAA. He started playing third, although he doesn't have the arm for the position. He doesn't really have the power for first, where he played in the big leagues. Maybe, if he learns to play left field, that, plus his ability to play all three infield positions, will earn him more big league time as the 25th guy. Essentially, I think he's a replacement-level guy.
Satin's peak is now. He'll be 27 in 2012.