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The Wright stuff? Mets take 3B Brett Baty 

@AnthonyDiComo
June 3, 2019

NEW YORK -- Lake Travis High School is about a half-hour ride outside of Austin, Texas, smack in the heart of football country. Baker Mayfield went there. Drew Brees and Nick Foles both attended rival Westlake. In another life, Brett Baty could have followed those paths. “They know their quarterbacks,”

NEW YORK -- Lake Travis High School is about a half-hour ride outside of Austin, Texas, smack in the heart of football country. Baker Mayfield went there. Drew Brees and Nick Foles both attended rival Westlake. In another life, Brett Baty could have followed those paths.

“They know their quarterbacks,” said Lake Travis baseball coach Mike Rogers. “He probably would have been the No. 1 quarterback his senior year, but he wanted to concentrate on baseball.”

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It appears to be turning into a wise decision. The Mets on Monday made Baty their top overall pick in the 2019 Draft, selecting him 12th overall. A left-handed slugging third baseman, Baty projects as one of the most powerful prep bats in this year’s draft class.

“It makes me feel so great to know that David Wright had so much success, and to know that maybe someday [I might] be like him,” said Baty, who became the first third baseman the Mets have drafted in the first round since Wright in 2001. “I love New York. The city, the atmosphere around it, it’s just an awesome city and I can’t wait to get here.”

The Mets are anxious too, considering Baty’s power ceiling. Ranked 17th on MLB Pipeline’s Draft board, Baty led all high schoolers this season with 19 home runs. He also hit .615 with 50 RBIs, 44 walks and just nine strikeouts in 37 games, a year after bashing 12 home runs with a .953 slugging percentage as a junior. In a game earlier this season against Hays High School, Rogers estimated, Baty hit a home run 380 feet into a 25-mph wind.

Standing 6-foot-3, Baty served as Lake Travis’ closer before the team’s top starting pitcher, fellow Draft prospect, Jimmy Lewis, was injured. Baty, who owns a 0.84 ERA and throws in the low 90s, has since taken over that role. He’ll start Friday night in the Texas 6A state tournament semifinals.

“We tease him all the time that he wears an ‘S’ on his chest,” Rogers said. “It’s that Clark Kent mentality. He can handle the moment. That’s one thing that sets him apart from everybody else.”

Although it’s been nearly two decades since the Mets selected a third baseman in the first round, they took one in the second round just two years ago. At 19, Baty is actually older than that pick, Mark Vientos, and can potentially rise through the system quicker than the typical high schooler. In addition to baseball, Baty played basketball at Lake Travis; some scouts believe that athleticism will help him stick at third base, rather than shift across the diamond to first.

“I think part of the attraction of Brett is his athleticism,” Mets vice president of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous said. “The plan is to keep him at third.”

Rogers called him “a typical Texas kid” into “baseball and sports and Taco Bell and Whataburger,” though Baty appears to have a taste for the big city as well. As a child, he played on a tee-ball team named the Mets, earning the nickname “Brett the Met.” As an adult, he was one of four amateur players to travel to the Draft in Secaucus, N.J., celebrating his selection with friends and family. Baty planned to linger in that area on Monday night, before heading back to Texas for the state tournament. He likely won’t stay there long. Tanous said he foresees no issues signing Baty, whose slot value at 12th overall is $4.27 million.

“I think New York’s going to fall in love with him pretty quick,” Rogers said. “He’s a talented young man.”

To complement Baty, Mets scouts traveled three hours east to unearth their second-round selection, right-handed pitcher Josh Wolf. Capable of throwing in the upper 90s with a plus, low-80s curveball, Wolf ranked 36th on MLB Pipeline’s Draft board but went 53rd overall to the Mets. Director of amateur scouting Marc Tramuta called Wolf “a relentless strike-thrower,” drawing a parallel to last year’s second-round pick, Simeon Woods Richardson, who is rising rapidly through the system.

“He came out this spring and made a nice jump in velocity,” Tramuta said. “But with that jump in velocity, he also maintained his strike-throwing.”

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Go to MLB.com/Draft for complete coverage, including every pick on Draft Tracker, coverage and analysis from MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft and @MLBDraftTracker on Twitter.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.