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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Jacobs returns to QueensPosted by Satchel Price at 10:38am
After breaking into the league in a big way by hitting 11 home runs in 30 games with the Mets in 2005, first baseman Mike Jacobs was dealt to the Marlins as part of the Carlos Delgado deal. After a brutal year in Kansas City after another offseason trade, he hit the open market when they declined to tender him a contract. At 29, he's still relatively in his prime, and his power is plus: he hit 32 home runs in 2008 with the Marlins and his career ISO is .222.
The Mets are projected to start the season with Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis dominating the playing time at first base, but Jacobs could actually offer the Mets something the other two options can't, and that's the power potential. Murphy's career ISO is .161, unimpressive for a first baseman, and Tatis isn't exactly anyone's image of an everyday first baseman on a contending team. Jacobs certainly shouldn't play everyday, but it's worth noting that he has a career wOBA of .350 against right-handed pitching, with a 16.4% HR/FB and significantly better strikeout and walk rates.
Jacobs looks the part of a nice left-handed portion of a platoon if he can take time away from Murphy, who also happens to be a left-handed hitter. His defense is below average and he'll never get on-base enough for a corner position player, but the 30+ HR power is real, and a lot of his issues can be masked to an extent by shielding him from left-handed pitching.
The former top catching prospect has some work to do to push his way into New York's depth chart, but given the lack of options in Queens and Jacobs' monster home run potential, he's a name to keep an eye on if he manages to make his way onto New York's roster. Honestly, New York would probably be better off with a bench of Thole, Jacobs, Cora, Tatis and Pagan, but there's a decent chance that they settle for Blanco, Tatis, Cora, Pagan and Matthews Jr. A lot of people have written off Jacobs, but he could be a good sleeper in NL-only leagues.
Satchel is a proud Cubs and White Sox fan, and if you squint really hard, it almost looks like his name is Satchel Paige. He also writes for Beyond the Box Score and can be reached for questions or comments via e-mail.
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