The New York Mets are set to recall third baseman Brett Baty on April 17, who’s been on a scorching hot roll in the Minors in recent weeks. The 23-year-old prospect has been hyped as an elite hitter who could be a difference maker for the Mets in the future, but New York will look to see if Baty’s bat can help the Mets offense now as the team makes a push towards a playoff birth for the second straight season. Here’s a closer look at Baty has been up to in the Minor Leagues and what Mets fans can expect from him.
A Look at Baty
When we got our first look at Mets infield prospect Brett Baty back in 2019, it was hard not to love his potential. Even as a prospect just months removed from his high school days, the 23-year-old displayed a keen eye at the plate and raw ability to muscle balls into the gap. Fast forward nearly four years into the future, and Baty has begun to put it all together.
Baty made his MLB debut late last year for the Mets, and he hit .184/.244/.342 with his first two home runs. While the peripherals weren’t great, the young third baseman did show impressive plate discipline and the ability to drive the ball when he made contact. A UCL tear in his right thumb ended his 2022 season after just 42 MLB plate appearances, but he gave Mets fans a strong first impression.
Despite a strong spring, Baty — one of our rookie hitters to watch in fantasy this season — did not make the Mets roster out of Grapefruit League action. New York pushed him down to Syracuse (AAA) to begin 2023, and did nothing but pound the baseball. Across nine games in Syracuse, Baty hit .400/.500/.866 with seven extra base hits (five HR) and 15 runs batted in. His exit velocity numbers were quite impressive, as was his patience at the plate.
While it’s still fair to wonder what kind of a defender Baty will be, it’s hard to deny his potency at the plate. Baty projects to be an above-average contact hitter with plus power and a plus eye at the plate. Those tools should make him a mainstay in the middle of the Mets lineup for years to come.
It was becoming clearer by the day that the left-hander slugger didn’t have much more to prove in the Minors. Now, he’s set to play a key role for the Mets — who entered play on April 17 20th in Major League Baseball in team OPS (.713) — moving forward, and may just be the man that can solidify the hot corner in New York. The Mets have not had a rock at that position since David Wright, but Baty just might be that.
A Look at the Mets
Between Baty’s torrid pace in Syracuse and Eduardo Escobar‘s struggles at the plate, the decision to call up the 23-year-old third baseman makes a lot of sense. While it’s fair to still expect Escobar — who hit 20 home runs after an incredible September — to get playing time in New York for the time being, Baty should be a regular at third for the Mets moving forward.
The big question for Baty moving forward is whether he can make the most of this opportunity. While the Texas native did show glimpses in his brief time with the Mets in 2022, he still needs to prove he can make consistent contact in the Majors. In his brief 42 plate appearance campaign last year, he did do that. Baty’s 88% Zone Contact% rate was well above league average, although he did find himself chasing a little too much. Fellow prospect Francisco Alvarez has fell victim to trying to do too much and chasing in the Majors thus far, and Baty needs to avoid doing the same.
There have been rumblings that the Mets may go after pending free agent Matt Chapman after the 2023 season, but Baty could put those rumors to bed if he can establish himself as the answer at the hot corner. And with prospects Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos also waiting in the wings in Syracuse, the Mets could receive a major youth injection over the next few weeks and months.