2 early Mets strengths nobody predicted before the season started, 1 more we’d like to see

The Mets wins have come in some unexpected ways.
New York Mets third base Brett Baty (22) throws to first for an out in the sixth inning of the MLB
New York Mets third base Brett Baty (22) throws to first for an out in the sixth inning of the MLB / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Preseason New York Mets predictions were all about the same because when you make a prediction you do so with some sort of an educated guess. We figured Harrison Bader might contend for a Gold Glove. Pete Alonso would challenge for a home run crown. Edwin Diaz would be the best closer in baseball. Boring!

There was nothing bold about predictions like those. Those Mets strengths were predictable. What about the ones nobody saw coming?

It’s only a handful of games. So far, we’ve already seen two strengths appear that nobody was predicting. Then there’s a third beginning to creep around the corner we’d like to see more of.

Mets third baseman Brett Baty is making big defensive plays

How can you not root for Brett Baty at this point? His disastrous 2023 season included a demotion to the minors for a couple of weeks in August. When he returned to the majors, he wasn’t any better. Only because he has looked more capable as a major league third baseman was he able to run away with the starting job over Mark Vientos this spring.

Baty hasn’t just taken off with the baton. He’s in a full-on sprint and showing he is more than a young player with a power bat. Dare we declare Baty a well-rounded player already?

Last Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds included two stellar defensive players from the young third baseman that had everyone changing their tune.

Along with the leather, Baty has been one of the more productive hitters for the Mets. He could’ve ended up as the hero in game one of last week’s doubleheader if not for the foolish decision to ask him to bunt.

Baty will have a couple hundred more chances at third base this year to prove he’s the man for the job. We all assumed the bat had room for improvement. If he’s even an average defensive player with the capability of making big plays like these on a routine basis, the Mets are set at the hot corner for a few years.