NY Mets: Here’s when we can expect future star Brett Baty
By Brad LaPlante
Brett Baty is well on his way to becoming a member of the New York Mets. The franchise’s fourth-ranked prospect, he’s a 21 year-old third baseman who is currently performing at Double-A Binghamton. This year, he’s hitting .252 for the Rumble Ponies in 28 games for them since receiving his promotion from High-A Brooklyn.
Despite not being in the Mets’ top 3 prospects, Baty is still one of the most anticipated. This is likely due to Baty being the highest-ranked position player who was actually taken in the MLB Draft. Catcher Francisco Alvarez and shortstop Ronny Mauricio (#1 and #2) were both signed as international free agents out of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
Baty was taken in the first round (12th overall) of the 2019 draft. He’s ranked 70th overall on MLB.com.
So when can the Mets expect to see him?
One FanSided piece calls on the Mets to select Baty for September Call-Ups when MLB roster size expands from 26 to 28. All due respect, I don’t think we’ll end up seeing that. Instead, it may be more likely that the Mets call up someone like Khalil Lee and Akeem Bostick. Both are MLB ready and Bostick was only sent down as part of the Javier Báez move.
Baty, on the other hand, could potentially get his “cup of coffee” until mid-2022. Depending on developments, he might even wait until September.
Even if Baty makes an MLB appearance in 2022, there’s no guarantee he stays there. It’s something that happens all the time to players who struggle. Wander Franco was the MLB top prospect and struggled initially, despite homering in his debut. Then there are rule 5 selections like Akil Baddoo, who has had a magnificent season in Detroit.
It may be more realistic that Baty will be seen regularly in 2023 and beyond.
What’s the Mets’ third base plan until he arrives?
Baty will likely make his debut in the middle of next year. Knowing this, JD Davis’ time in New York would always be numbered. That is, without the DH. If the DH makes an appearance next year, the Mets could be flexible.
Another DH plan the Mets could save is to put Baty at third base and DH Davis. With the way the Mets are performing this year, they may just think about re-tooling the entire lineup and Davis gets stuck in that.
Still, what can they do until he arrives? They could just keep Davis. He only has 2.1 years of experience and still has three years of arbitration. Another option would be to trade him and re-sign Jonathan Villar for next year.
He could provide high trade value if the Mets are interested in an outfield upgrade. The Mets could decide to DH Dom Smith or Pete Alonso then leave one of them on first base. This would leave a corner infield spot open and instead of signing two free agents, they’d only need to sign one, plus a trade.
There’s also the possibility of moving Jeff McNeil back to the outfield and re-signing Javier Báez. If the Mets don’t re-sign Báez, making the move for him would be wasted. They traded away their fifth-ranked prospect for a rental, or what would be one. Locking Báez up would actually make that trade worth it.
This year, Villar has been solid at the infield positions he’s played. He’s played solid defense, has an acceptable batting average, and could be enough to get the Mets by until another plan arrives.
Relying on backup plans may not be in the cards for the Mets and they may want to get someone who’s a bigger bat at third base.
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Brett Baty is coming, but the Mets will have to be patient.