Yes, even utility players are being covered in our positional breakdown of the minor leagues. It’s not an overly intriguing or sexy group of players, but utility players are a necessary and important part of any major league team, and it’s a place where the Mets have several guys slowly working their way towards the major leagues. Josh Satin, although primarily a second baseman, has also seen time at first base and third base, although he is not gifted defensively anywhere. Despite his defensive shortcomings, being able to play multiple positions may be the thing to get Satin and his bat to the big leagues and in the lineup.
The Mets have a trio of guys who could have a future as a utility man that played much of the season in Binghamton. Jerry Manuel favorite Jon Malo has played just about every position except pitcher and catcher, which plays greatly in his favor, but he has never impressed anyone with his bat, and unless he can hit in AAA where he batted .143 in 27 games in 2011 he’ll have trouble getting to the majors. Michael Fisher split time between Buffalo and Binghamton in 2011. He actually played more in AAA than in AA and may have been given the slightest amount of consideration possible for a big league promotion at one point. He can play all the infield positions, but his numbers in AAA, especially his slugging percentage, were nowhere close to what they were in AA, so he needs to improve with the bat to ever be useful in the majors. Eric Campbell entered 2011 with a chance to become a legitimate prospect at third base, even being invited to spring early for the Mets STEP camp for minor leaguers, but now that the season is over he is looking more like a poor man’s Nick Evans: a guy who can play all the corners and hit a little. Campbell had an atrocious first half swinging the bat, but was better in the second half so there’s a chance he can rebound next year, but most likely he turns into bench player who backs up the corners, and if he get back to hitting like he did in 2010 he has a chance to be a useful player.
Down in A-ball, the Mets have a couple more utility guys in the making in Travis Ozga, who spent most of 2011 in St. Lucie, and Joe Bonfe, who spent the year in Savannah. Ozga is a switch-hitting natural first baseman, but he has also played third base and some outfield. Joe Bonfe had a stellar year playing third base for Brooklyn in 2010, but saw more action in the outfield for Savannah in 2011, although his stats with the bat were less impressive.
None of these utility guys are going to draw much attention, except perhaps Satin, but with their versatility in the field, if they can hit enough, they give themselves a chance to get to the big leagues.