Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at third baseman Brett Baty.
Player Review: Brett Baty
Minor Leagues: 26 Games, 140 At Bats, .298 Batting Average, 31 Hits, 4 Doubles, 10 Home Runs, 31 RBIs, 20 Runs Scored, 2 Stolen Bases, 16 Walks, 1.013 OPS
Major Leagues: 107 Games, 353 At Bats, .212 Batting Average, 75 Hits, 12 Doubles, 9 Home Runs, 34 RBIs, 41 Runs Scored, 2 Stolen Bases, 29 Walks, .598 OPS, -0.8 WAR
Story: After making his big league debut in 2022, Brett Baty entered spring training hoping to win the starting third base job for the Mets. Despite tearing the cover off the ball in camp, the Mets sent Baty down to AAA Syracuse as GM Billy Eppler felt that Baty needed more experience at the AAA level. Baty proceeded to continue torching AAA pitching, which led the Mets to promote him from Syracuse in mid-April after incumbent Eduardo Escobar got off to a slow start.
Manager Buck Showalter essentially made Baty the strong side of a platoon with Escobar and he got out of the gate strong, leading Eppler to take advantage of an opportunity to trade Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of pitching prospects in late June. That deal made Baty the everyday third baseman and he promptly fell into a massive slump, failing to hit a ton of balls into the air and losing confidence in his fielding ability as a result.
Seeking a mental reset, the Mets sent Baty back to AAA Syracuse in August and he hit well there, leading to a recall when rosters expanded in September. Baty looked a bit better down the stretch but wasn’t able to truly shake the mid-season slump before the year concluded.
Development isn’t always linear with top prospects but one of the biggest disappointments for the Mets this season was how Baty failed to adjust to big league pitching. Given the team’s long-term needs at the position, Baty’s failure to seize his opportunity has created another hole the Mets have to consider filling in the offseason.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds Of Returning: 90%
2024 Role: Starting Third Baseman
The Mets will likely give Baty another crack at the third base job in spring training but he will have to earn it through a competition with either Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos or an offseason pickup. The only reason his chances of returning aren’t at 100 percent is because the Mets have a new President of Baseball Operations in David Stearns who has no ties to Baty. Stearns could conceivably view another option as a better alternative at third for Baty, freeing him up to use as a trade chip to improve another area of the roster.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Phil Bickford!