It’s been a tough season for Mets prospect Brett Baty. After bursting onto the scene in 2022, injuries and other factors have delayed his development. However, the last few games are showing glimpses of what he could be.
Entering Friday’s game against the Phillies, the infielder was slashing .213/.281/.322 with eight home runs and 31 RBI in 99 games. Numbers like that forced the Mets to demote Baty to Triple-A where he would excel before returning to the lineup.
And while his return hasn’t been everything Baty or the organization have wanted, Friday saw the young infielder take future Hall of Fame closer Craig Kimbrel deep to tie the game 4-4 in the ninth against the Phillies. While it ultimately came in a losing effort, it was Baty’s second home run in three games, but this one showed how far he’s come.
“I came up in the same situation yesterday and didn’t get the job done,” Baty explained after the game. “And today I tied it up. I’m just learning from my mistakes and it was good.”
The 23-year-old was up in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game against Kimbrel with men on second and third and two outs. With the Mets down a run, Baty struck out on five pitches ending the threat.
Baty said that Kimbrel has “really good rise” on his fastball and he swung under a couple of them yesterday but today he got on top of one of them and sent it flying 432 feet.
“I know I said it before. I’m just going to be the same guy every single day. I’m going to work hard and go out there and play hard,” Baty said of his approach. “But it gives me confidence too, just hitting the ball hard. That gives me confidence.”
Baty has five hits over his last four games, including two home runs. But like his “baby Mets” brethren Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos, perhaps something has unlocked in the Texas native.
Mets manager Buck Showalter has noticed, especially on the defensive side.
“Brett’s played well recently. It’s good to see,” Showalter said after the game. “I’ve been real happy with the way he’s been playing defensively. He’s very confident. He’s reading hops at third base. That’s what I’ve been proud of is how he’s come on defensively.”
That defense paid dividends on Friday, too. After tying the game in the ninth, Baty made a game-saving play at third base in the bottom half of the inning. With Trea Turner at the plate and a man on third base with two outs, the shortstop hit a broken-bat grounder towards the right side. Baty cut across Francisco Lindor to pick up the ball and throw to first base to make the out and send the game to extra innings.
“I’m going to try and trust my instincts. That’s what people have been preaching all year,” Baty said of the play. “I saw the broken bat and knew it was hit softly so I reacted to it quickly.”
With just eight games remaining in the Mets schedule, and the team eliminated from playoff contention, Baty will look to use the remaining contests to show the organization that he is meant to be on the roster in 2024.
When asked how important it is to end the season on a high note, Baty reiterated the importance of staying consistent in his preparation.
“This game is so built on failure, you can’t will yourself to do anything,” Baty explained. “You can come to the field and be the same guy and be consistent and whatever the game gives you the game gives you. That’s what I’ve been focused on the last couple of weeks and it’s been good.”
Source: Yahoo Sports