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This Mets Infielder Enters A Critical Year

Entering 2024, the New York Mets find themselves with much to prove. Especially some of the young talent that has yet to flourish. Players such as Mark Vientos, Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchessi, and Jose Butto. All four will be allowed to earn a spot on the roster and contribute during the season. The one with the most to prove is probably their former 2019 first-round pick, Brett Baty. Ronny Mauricio, another of the Mets’ young players, tore his ACL during a Winter League game in December. Mauricio was supposed to be in the mix for the third base job with Baty and Vientos, but with him out, it opens the door for Baty.

This Mets Infielder Enters A Critical Year

Baty is stuck in limbo as an all-potential player who hasn’t yet translated into the big leagues. It’s been a tough first two years of experience for Baty in the big leagues. In August 2022, he was called up and hit a home run in his first big league at bat. However, just a few weeks later, his season would end as he had to undergo surgery on his thumb to repair a torn ligament. His 2022 season lasted just 11 games and 42 plate appearances. Going into last year, Baty was expected to take the next step in his development.

Baty’s tough 2023

He would get his chance again early into 2023 with Eduardo Escobar struggling both at third base defensively and at the plate. Unfortunately, Baty would not develop as well as the Mets hoped. He slashed .212/.275.323 in 108 games. He hit nine home runs and drove in just 34 RBI. Baty was sent down in the middle of the season before being called back in September. Baty’s biggest strength is his bat, and he had a tough time at the plate. He’s proven to hit minor league pitching, which he did when he got sent down, but hitting major league pitching for him remains a question mark. He was undisciplined at the plate and struck out 109 times. A more patient approach and further coaching from new Mets manager Carlos Mendoza and Eric Chavez, returning to the hitting coach role, should help. 

The defense was also a problem for Baty. He committed ten errors alone at third base, with two bad ones coming against the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. His defensive metrics were all in the negatives. That includes defensive runs saved above average (-5) and total fielding runs above average (-16). Mendoza has emphasized defense and baseball fundamentals. Baty must show better fundamentals at third base to impress the coaching staff.

Can Baty Have A Strong 2024?

Last year looked to be a lot for Baty. He seemed to press a lot and got down on himself as the season wore on. His struggles on offense and defensive mistakes were on his mind. Now Baty has a fresh start this season.



His leash, however, might not be a long one. Mainly if Vientos performs in Spring Training or if Mauricio returns this year. There’s no denying that Baty’s talent is there. He was a first-round pick for a reason, and he can be a natural left-handed hitter. With many questions that need to be answered, the Mets need Baty to answer the question of whether he is a keeper for years to come. 

Main Photo Credits: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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