Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Brett Baty, the Mets' first round draft pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft, is a plus hitter whose power potential could land him in the middle of New York's lineup as their future third baseman.
While the 20-year-old Baty isn't expected to be ready for his big league debut until 2022-23 or so -- timing that could be impacted if the entire 2020 minor league season is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic -- he opened eyes in his first taste of pro ball last season and is among four Mets minor leaguers viewed as legitimate blue chip prospects.
Aside from Baty, right-handed pitcher Matthew Allan, shortstop Ronny Mauricio, and catcher Francisco Alvarez are the crown jewels of a Mets farm system that is on the way back up after trades (Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano from the Mariners and Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays) that decimated the system a bit.
A look at Baty...
What the scouts are saying
"It'll come down to contact and power for Baty, who has middle-of-the-order potential, and does have the bat speed and idea at the plate to keep that strikeout rate in check." - Keith Law, The Athletic
"He's a good athlete, better than a typical third baseman, so I expect his lateral movement will improve as he gets more experience. He has a strong arm, but needs to be more accurate with his throws. (He) has very good strike zone recognition and projects to be an above-average hitter with plus power." - National League scout
"They're not going to be sorry (for picking him), I can tell you that. He has big-time power but he's also a polished hitter. He has strike-zone recognition, he gets the barrel to the ball consistently, using the whole field, and he can hit it a mile. I thought he'd get to us because the age thing was an issue for some teams, but the Mets recognized the talent. I never saw his age as a factor because he should move up the ladder quickly. I could see him in the big leagues in two or three years." - Rival scout
"Baty is a much better athlete than his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and below-average speed suggests. He could develop into an average defender at third base, where his plus arm strength -- he was clocked at 92 mph off the mound in high school -- is a clear fit. He'll need time to develop his game on both sides of the ball, but also stands to move faster through the minors than the typical prep pick because of his age." - MLB Pipeline
What happens in 2020?
Baty played at three different levels of the Mets' system in 2019, first in the Gulf Coast League, then in the Appalachian League, and finally in the New York Penn league with the Brooklyn Cyclones in short-season A-ball.
It's fair to believe that if the 2020 minor league season went on as originally scheduled that Baty would've started with Low-A Columbia.
If, as expected, the 2020 minor league season does not happen, it's likely that minor leaguers will train at team facilities. What games might look like (intrasquad perhaps) remains to be seen.
The above could mean the growth of all minor league players potentially being stunted a bit, and could have ripple effects on which level they open the season at in 2021.
What the future could hold
If Baty reaches his potential, which would be an average or better defensive third baseman who hits for both average and plenty of power, he projects to be an All-Star-level performer.
If, like many prospects, Baty doesn't reach his ceiling, his floor could still be close to a big league regular at third base.
I love seeing the raw emotion from players and coaches. First, Coach Rogers from @LTCavBaseball became very emotional talking about his 3B/P and Mets 1st rd pick @baty_brett Here is a very proud coach and the great Brett Baty after his final high school game this weekend. pic.twitter.com/vkka5TzI1H- Anthony Geronimo (@ATXANT10) June 9, 2019