When the New York Mets took Brett Baty in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft eyebrows were raised around the league. Baty was a 19-year old third baseman in high school when he was taken by the Mets, a fact that drew concern from scouts who felt he was too old for a player at that stage of development. The Mets believed that there was significant potential for Baty, who has proven them right so far in 2021 and is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
Baty made his professional debut for the Mets in 2019, where he hit just .234 with seven home runs and 33 RBI’s across three of the lowest levels in the farm system. The pandemic wiped out Baty’s 2020 campaign but he did get the chance to work with the Mets at the alternate site in Brooklyn, where he showed up in better physical shape. That fact led to enthusiasm from the organization about Baty’s development which has only heightened after his strong start to the season.
The Mets assigned Baty to High-A Brooklyn to start the year and he has torn the cover off the ball for the Cyclones. In 30 games this season, Baty has hit .324 with eight doubles, five home runs and 29 RBI’s to go along with a stellar .980 OPS. The Cyclones have been the home to three of the Mets’ most intriguing prospects so far in 2021 as Baty has teamed with Ronny Mauricio and Francisco Alvarez to add some serious juice to the Brooklyn lineup.
MLB.com has rated Baty as the Mets’ fourth-best prospect thanks in large part to his ability to hit for power to all fields. There are concerns that Baty’s swing could lead to some high strikeout totals but he has shown some improvement in that area this season, cutting his strikeout rate from 34.5 percent in 2019 to 27.5 percent so far in 2021. The Mets continue to let Baty work at third base, where he has the frame and arm to be an average defender, but he will need plenty of reps to develop on that side of the ball.
The good news here is that Baty has looked up to the challenge of facing High-A pitching, something that could lead to a mid-season promotion to AA Binghamton. Third base is a position where the Mets do have a long-term need so Baty could play himself into the organization’s plans if he continues to rapidly rise up the ranks over the next two years. If Baty does finish this year at Binghamton he could be right on track to debut for the Mets at the end of 2022, a tantalizing development as the next wave of position player prospects begins to blossom to supplement the existing core of the roster.