In the Mets’ abbreviated instructional league this fall, third baseman Brett Baty was among the players who left organizational officials nodding their heads in approval.
A 21-year-old lefthanded slugger, Baty’s loud contact was noticeable, along with the improvements he’s made defensively.
“He’s improving and has a real shot,” a Mets talent evaluator said.
In the absence of a minor league season Baty spent much of the summer at the Mets’ alternate training site in Brooklyn working out with seasoned players.
It came after a 2019 in which the Austin, Texas, high school product hit .234/.368/.452 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 51 games, all but nine of them with Rookie-level Kingsport. The Mets selected Baty with the 12th overall pick in the 2019 draft.
“This is what you project as a middle-of-the order bat when you take him,” Mets vice president of amateur and international scouting Tommy Tanous said. “It’s huge power. It jumps off. It sounds different than the other high school kids who you are looking at. He showed that power in a short stint in the minor leagues.”
Tanous noted that Baty displayed his discipline by walking more than 10% of the time in his pro debut.
“We liked certain things in the bat path, and he showed that as an amateur and has continued to show it to us—so it’s a pretty darn good bat,” Tanous said.
Baty, who stands 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, is athletic enough to dunk a basketball. But that size also has drawbacks.
“This is a big man,” Tanous said. “Is it going to be a shortstop- or second base-type range that is playing third? No. He’s got his first step that is as quick as you want it to be, and he’s an athlete over there . . .
“His hands work real well and he’s got plenty of arm to play there. This is going to be a pretty good defender at third base.”
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— The Mets also have another respected third baseman in the system in Mark Vientos, who brings righthanded power to the equation. Baty is regarded as the better defender.
“If you want to watch a home run contest, you go watch those two guys in BP,” Tanous said. “Both are super. Vientos’ plate discipline has improved each year, so both are really high-end prospects.”