3 things that must happen for Brett Baty to make the team
New York Mets third baseman Brett Baty has gotten off to a hot start to Spring Training as he looks to make an impression on the coaching staff early on in the spring. Baty is going to get plenty of more looks at third base with fellow starting third baseman Eduardo Escobar slated to leave to play for his native country of Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next week.
What does this mean for Baty's chances to head down I-95 with the big league club to Miami for Opening Day at the end of March? It means Baty is going to have more opportunities than he would've had previously to force the hand of Manager Buck Showalter and General Manager Billy Eppler.
The Mets may have a decision to make on Brett Baty making the Opening Day roster with his strong play currently
The most logical and realistic way that the 23-year-old Baty can make the ballclub is if he has such a scorching spring with his bat that the Mets are left with no choice but to bring him with them to Miami for Opening Day. Baty has already gotten off to a great start and with that continued success, the Mets may find a place for his bat in the starting lineup, especially with Baty long considered the Mets' third baseman of the future.
Another way that Baty can really improve his chances to make the club is by him making strides with his defense. Baty will get plenty of run at the hot corner over the next several weeks and if he can demonstrate growth at the position defensively, in addition to continuing to hit at a high rate, he will have solidified an Opening Day roster spot. One of the only concerns the front office has had with Baty has been his defense and that is one area they will be keeping a close eye on him through March.
Lastly, the most unfortunate way I could see Baty making the roster is if there is an injury sustained to a player during Spring Training that is assured a roster spot. For example, if something happened to Eduardo Escobar during the WBC, the Mets would no doubt open the season with Baty as their starting third baseman.
Something to watch over the coming weeks is Darin Ruf's recovery from injury. With Ruf sitting out due to a wrist injury currently, Baty could give the Mets reason to carry him over Ruf on the Opening Day roster should Ruf continue to miss an extended period of time.
Brett Baty has as much of an opportunity as he ever has had in the past to make the Mets' 26-man Opening Day roster this spring. While three different factors would have to happen for that to occur, they are all very realistic possibilities from where we stand today.