He cant hit. I know, he's cute, a student of the game, and fast as greased lightning.
The problem is of course, you cant steal first!
Of course you can steal first. They are called infield singles.
His OPS of .775 is the 6th best on the team, as you can see here.
The sad thing is that there will always be a solid segment of the population that wants to believe that natural variation/noise in their favor is actually truth. Mastroianni has batted well in the minor as a much older player, much like Dozier. However...
Dozier has done it as a pretty good middle infielder. Mastroianni has played a grand total of seven minor league games at 2B after his first season (five years). DM's hitting at the high minors, after posting a .390 obp as a 24 yr old in AA in 2010 (Dozier-like), has actually be mediocre since, or worse if you adjust his .276/.358/.389 for playing in Las Vegas, the easiest park to hit in. Even this year his minor league numbers were .283/.341/.345.
How people expect this guy to be even that good at the MLB level is beyond me. Because he hustles and had a good game? The Twins will try to hype anything and everything they can, so I imagine a lot of people get influenced by TV and such. He wasn't good enough to play 2B in the Toronto minor league system, he hasn't hit well enough to deserve anything
Yet people are crossing their fingers and hoping for a miracle. When an older non-top prospect destroys AAA for a period of time, such as the recent examples of Span (2008), Plouffe (2011), and Parmelee (2012), then he's ready for a true shot at MLB. Or when an age-appropriate player proves he can hit AAA decently (hopefully Hicks next year), then he deserves a true shot.
He'll be a solid fourth outfielder for us. The bat won't likely hold up in a starting role. Some people are just suited for bench roles. It seemed like Punto's average was about 30 points higher coming off the bench, but that could be my imagination.
Just keep people in places they can thrive in. Duensing is a better reliever, Mastroianni is a good fourth outfielder, and Nick Blackburn is a good... beard. See, everyone's happy.
Bad hitter he may be, but he is a better hitter than Casilla, Nishioka, etc.
It's never a good idea to post a bald statement--unsupported by any actual argument--as though one were the Pope speaking ex cathedra (I believe is the term--my Latin was never very good), when the statement appears to conflict with the evidence. He has a 27% line drive rate; he has above average contact rates; he has a below (above) average rate of swinging outside the strike zone; his BABIP is not totally out of line for his speed (although ZIPS has him at a much lower .301 ROS); et cetera.
Baseball Reference (Pitch summary is quite interesting).
To continue, while Mastroianni's ISO is unprecedented by his minor league numbers, his minor league OPS, with the exception of 2008, was fairly stable between .700 and .800. In sum, the claim: "He can't hit", is, at best, ignorant and disingenuous, and, at worst, a delusional statement of reality.