None of the New York Mets rookies aside from Kodai Senga met expectations in 2023. Francisco Alvarez did clobber a bunch of home runs and prove he can play the catcher position intelligently. His shortcomings were accepted because of what he did well. A clutch home run was always a possibility. He gets a longer leash because of how awesome some of his qualities already are.
Brett Baty didn't have the same competence. At the plate and in the field, he was mismatched. His demotion did little to get him right. Following his September promotion only a few weeks after he revisited Syracuse, he picked up right where he left off; not doing much.
Mets fans aren't wrong if they've lost faith in Brett Baty
On one hand, it's difficult to say Baty will never figure things out. Much less talented players have had even worse rookie campaigns and turned their careers around. The verdict on Baty doesn't have enough evidence to convict. However, the prosecution has more than circumstantial evidence against him.
Not a single statistic of Baty’s rings out in a positive light. He didn’t hit for much power. He struck out too much. He walked too little. He struggled mightily against left-handed pitchers and was terrible against righties, too.
More expected was his weakness with the glove. Among all qualified third basemen, he had the worst range runs above average in the league at -4.9. Only one other player, Jeimer Candelario, was worse than -3.
At the very least, fans were hopeful for a one-dimensional year from him. Clobbering right-handed pitchers would have been the simplest to accept. This wouldn't be the case. Slashing .225/.297/.344 against the pitchers he is supposed to have more success against is not acceptable. His numbers versus lefties would require a NSFW warning because of how devastatingly bad they were, too.
A little more rope is necessary for the Mets to figure out exactly what they have. It seems the doubts about his ability to play third base at the major league level have been confirmed. Without the bat producing, it's tough to even be all that concerned about a position change to go along with it.
It was only a year ago when Baty seemed like he was one full season away from at least becoming the third base version of what we saw from Alvarez. Don’t rip out the cord yet but also don’t get too comfortable seeing him at third base. If you’re feeling down on him, you’re far from alone.