JOSH VanMETER, SECOND BASEMAN
Born: March 10, 1995
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 194
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 5th Round, 148th Overall, 2013 (Padres)
How Acquired: Trade (with Diamondbacks)
High School: Norwell HS (Ossian, IN)
Agents: Sterling Sports Management

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
San Diego drafted VanMeter out of high school as a player with good ability to hit but a need to get stronger.  He didn’t hit especially well during most of his time in the minors; in fact, he never made one of Baseball America’s top 30 lists.  In AAA, he started hitting well, with good power, but that didn’t carry over to the majors.  For his career in the majors he has a reverse platoon split.  He’s played mostly second, third and left in the majors, with some time at first.  He hasn’t played short, and didn’t play it much in the minors after a fractured leg in 2015.  The Pirates acquired him after Arizona designated him for assignment.

2013
R:  279/378/348, 158 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 24 BB, 25 K, 10-14 SB

VanMeter split his time between short and second in his debut.  He showed good plate discipline but not much power.

2014
A:  254/311/333, 412 AB, 24 2B, 3 HR, 34 BB, 87 K, 8-12 SB

In full season ball, VanMeter again divided his time between short and second.    He didn’t hit a great deal, but at 19 he was young for the level.

2015
R:  727/727/1091, 11 AB, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 K, 0-1 SB
A:  250/339/292, 96 AB, 4 2B, 13 BB, 12 K, 1-2 SB

Except for two games at the beginning of the season, VanMeter was out until August with a fractured fibula.  He got into only 25 games total, again at Low A.

2016
A+:  267/355/443, 348 AB, 21 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 48 BB, 64 K, 9-11 SB
AA:  198/248/274, 106 AB, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 18 K, 2-4 SB

VanMeter spent most of the season in High A, hitting for solid power with good walk and K rates.  He didn’t spend any time at short, instead playing mostly third and a little at second.  The Padres gave him a late-season promotion to AA.  After the season, they traded him to the Reds.

2017
AA:  255/327/352, 475 AB, 29 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 53 BB, 100 K, 15-18 SB

Spending the season in AA, VanMeter didn’t hit with much authority.  He spent his time more or less evenly between second, third and left.

2018
AA:  284/420/421, 95 AB, 10 2B, 1 HR, 23 BB, 19 K, 5-7 SB
AAA:  253/309/464, 332 AB, 25 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 28 BB, 73 K, 5-8 SB

The Reds sent VanMeter back to AA to open the season, then promoted him in May.  His hitting was a contrast; in AA, he got on base a lot but didn’t hit for much power, then in AAA he hit for good power but had a poor BB:K ratio.  He mostly played second and left.

2019
AAA:  348/429/669, 181 AB, 14 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 24 BB, 37 K, 8-11 SB
MLB:  237/327/408, 228 AB, 13 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 29 BB, 56 K, 9-12 SB

VanMeter got off to a big start in AAA and, in early May, the Reds called him up.  He was up and down the rest of the season, but spent most of it in the majors.  He hit decently with the Reds, showing some patience and a little power.  In the majors he played mostly in left, with some time at first and second.

2020
MLB (Cinn):  059/158/177, 34 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 16 K, 1-1 SB
MLB (Ari):  194/293/333, 36 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 8 K

During the pandemic season, VanMeter got only limited playing time with both the Reds and, following a late-August trade, Arizona.

2021
AAA:  388/539/881, 67 AB, 6 2B, 9 HR, 23 BB, 21 K, 1-1 SB
MLB:  212/297/354, 274 AB, 17 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 33 BB, 83 K, 3-5 SB

VanMeter opened the season with the D’backs and alternated between playing second and pinch-hitting.  He struggled to hit and, in late May, Arizona sent him to AAA.  He hit a ton there and returned to Arizona in about a month.  He spent the rest of the season playing second and third, as well as pinch-hitting, but he didn’t hit much.  The D’backs designated VanMeter for assignment late in 2022 spring training and then traded him to the Pirates.

While dramatically improving the Pirates’ farm system, the front office under Ben Cherington has had a habit periodically of making incomprehensible moves at the major league level.  Acquiring VanMeter was one of them.  The team is loaded with major-league-ready and near-major-league-ready infield prospects, and figured to struggle finding the playing time to give them all significant opportunities.  For all their talk of building through their farm system, they continue to recoil at the idea of going with their prospects.  Instead, they block their younger players with veterans who have little to no chance of helping the team in the short- or long-term.  To make matters worse, VanMeter is out of options.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2022: Major league minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $308,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: 5/5/2019
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2026
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: May 5, 2019
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2019, 2020, 2021)
MLB Service Time: 2.062
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2013: Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 5th round, 148th overall pick; signed on June 18.
December 8, 2016: Traded by the San Diego Padres with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Luis Torrens.
May 5, 2019: Contract purchased by the Cincinnati Reds.
August 31, 2020: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Stuart Fairchild to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Archie Bradley and $100,000.
March 27, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
March 31, 2022: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Listher Sosa.
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