The case for and against including Brett Baty on the Opening Day roster

Aug 21, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets third baseman Brett Baty (22)
Aug 21, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets third baseman Brett Baty (22) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets had agreed to a deal with Carlos Correa which would've made him the third baseman for the next 12 seasons alongside his friend Francisco Lindor. Correa would've been awesome, but the Mets third base situation isn't awful by any means without him.

The Mets still have Eduardo Escobar on the roster and he's coming off of an up and down season with New York. He got off to a solid start, then went on a four-month slump before being one of the best players in baseball in September.

Escobar had lost his job briefly in the middle of his struggles for one of the top prospects in baseball, Brett Baty before Baty went down with an injury. With Correa out of the picture and Escobar having his ups and downs, what should the Mets do with Baty? Should he be on the opening day roster?

The case for including Brett Baty on the Mets Opening Day roster

As a top 20 prospect in baseball, Baty is obviously filled with potential. His bat can be viewed as MLB-ready, and with a lineup needing another bat, he could be that missing piece.

Baty showed what he could do by homering on the first pitch he saw in Atlanta. Baty recorded just seven hits in 38 at-bats but recorded hits in his last four games played before going on the injured list. He was figuring out big-league pitching.

Baty can very easily slot in at third base and play against right-handed pitching. He gives the Mets a higher ceiling than Escobar and could be the difference in making this lineup transform from good to great.

We saw what Michael Harris II did when he was called up straight from AA. There's no reason to believe that Baty, a higher-ranked prospect with better numbers and more experience in AA, can't do the same thing in 2023.

The case for not including Brett Baty on the Mets Opening Day roster

Baty did not show good things defensively at third base. He had -3 DRS in just 93 innings played in the field, that's very concerning. Escobar isn't good defensively either, but this is something Baty can and should work on improving in the minor leagues. The defense has always been a concern in the minors, and we could see why based on how he performed.

Baty has just six games of experience in AAA. He tore the cover off the ball at AA Binghamton as he posted a .950 OPS but the lack of AAA experience gives some cause for concern as to whether he's ready or not.

Escobar clearly had some adjusting to do as he looked uncomfortable at the plate for the entire season but once he finally locked in for the month of September he was unstoppable. Giving Escobar, a guy who's been a 30+ home run hitter at this level before, a shot at the everyday role to begin the year makes a lot of sense.

If Escobar struggles to hit against right-handed pitching again or struggles in general, we could see Baty very quickly. Give the 23-year-old a chance to begin the season on a strong note in the minors and be ready to come in if Escobar struggles or gets hurt.

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