3 Mets most responsible for measuring stick series win versus the Braves

The Mets took two of three in Atlanta in impressive fashion, and these three players were the reason why
There was plenty to celebrate for Brett Baty and DJ Stewart in Atlanta
There was plenty to celebrate for Brett Baty and DJ Stewart in Atlanta / Brett Davis/GettyImages
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3) Brett Baty has leveled up in his second full season

One of the major questions the Mets faced this offseason was what to do at third base. Brett Baty faltered as last year went along, and it seemed likely that he had lost the job to either Ronny Mauricio or a free agent such as Matt Chapman or Justin Turner.

A lucky confluence of events gave Baty a second chance. Mauricio tore his ACL in February, and new president of baseball operations David Stearns opted not to splurge on a free agent as the Mets took a more conservative financial approach.

Maybe it's the Mets who got lucky, because Baty has looked like a completely different player. He's become a really difficult out, and he's capitalizing any time an opposing pitcher makes a mistake. He went 5-14 against the Braves, and he even flashed the leather a few times defensively.

Even more importantly, he's having fun again after a year in which the stress of being given a starting role clearly wore on him. Baty caught a laser beam off the bat of Ronald Acuna Jr. to end the third inning, and he remained crouched in a playful pose with a huge smile on his face as the Mets infield headed to the dugout. He also made an incredible play that had shades of Nolan Arenado in the sixth, as he went into foul territory to snag a grounder over the third base bag and fire it to first. Ozzie Albies was ruled just safe after review, but the fact that Baty made the play and just missed throwing out someone with good speed was incredible all on its own.

Unlike Nimmo and Stewart, Baty has looked good all year, and he's now hitting .311 with a .732 OPS. If he really is making a breakthrough to become a franchise third baseman, it would have a far-reaching impact on the Mets' odds, both this year and in the next half-decade.

The Royals have been one of baseball's most surprising teams in jetting to a 9-4 start. This upcoming series will be another good litmus test as the Mets try to claw back to .500, and a good sign of the maturity of this team if they can avoid a letdown after taking two of three from their division rival. If Nimmo, Stewart, and Baty keep up their recent play, the Mets should be just fine.

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