Mets' Baty dishes on Big Apple, versatility and expectations in '22

March 21st, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Brett Baty is a big deal in the prospect world. The Mets slugger was just named the top third-base prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline and jumped to No. 27 on our Top 100.

But here at Clover Park, he’s a 22-year-old non-roster invitee with a locker in the corner of the clubhouse perhaps quite purposefully between All-Stars Pete Alonso and Robinson Canó as he attempts to make an impression for a New York club trying to win now at the top level. Cracking the Major League club is a tall task, even for a prospect standing in at 6-foot-3, but this can still be a spring of opportunity for Baty.

The Texas native talked to MLB Pipeline from Mets camp on Thursday about his offensive focus, his preparations at both third base and the outfield and his early transition to New York City living after spending part of 2021 with High-A Brooklyn.

Sam Dykstra: You’ve been here in St. Lucie for a while between Minor League camp and Major League camp. Take us through that experience.

Brett Baty: It feels like I’ve been here a month because we were here for three weeks in Minor League camp and then I switched over [to Major League camp] last week. It’s awesome. With the older guys coming in, I’ve learned a lot from them.

Dykstra: Just looking at where your locker is in the corner of the clubhouse. You have Pete Alonso on one side. You have Robinson Canó on the other. What has it been like to rub elbows with those guys?

Baty: Yeah, it's awesome. Pete and I were talking today about the mindset going up to the plate and everything like that and the journey that he took along the Minor League route. So, it's been awesome to get their knowledge and really get to know them.

Dykstra: What is your focus right now in your BP work and your live BPs? Where are you trying to improve to show that you belong with these guys?

Baty: My swing feels really good right now. I've just been working on trying to get the ball elevated a little bit and off the ground … just really trying to put it in the air to all fields. I've been really stressing that this year. Also, I always need to improve on the defensive side and really get quick over there at third base so I can stick there for a long time.

Dykstra: You mentioned the ground-ball rate and elevating your batted balls more. What are adjustments are you making to tap into that more?

Baty: I'm just trying to focus on hitting behind the ball a little bit better. Last year, I got a little jumpy at the ball. I saw 95 on the radar, and I was like, ‘I'm going to go get this.’ Now I'm just letting it come to me, letting the ball travel and staying within myself.

Dykstra: You mentioned your defensive work as well. How much are you still mixing in outfield work?

Baty: I’ve gotten a few reps out there. It’s whenever they tell me to go. They have said to me that they like the versatility out there. We’ll see where that goes.

Dykstra: What about your game plays best in the outfield?

Baty: I feel like I’ve grown up in all sports and really just being an athlete. I feel like I make good reads out there. I feel like I can really track the ball down. I am a bigger dude, but I feel like I can get going a little bit when I when I do get moving. I feel like outfield shows a lot of versatility, so I like that about my game.

Dykstra: You were a basketball player and a football player. What were you in both sports?

Baty: In basketball, I was more of a power forward. I liked to bruise down low a little bit and be a slasher, not really a shooter-type outside. In football, I played quarterback, and you had to know everything that was going on. That really helped me in my baseball career, just being able to have all that stuff going on in the mind and the arm strength and everything like that.

Dykstra: So, you mentioned what translated well for football. How about basketball?

Baty: Definitely the footwork. The footwork down low has really helped me out at third base, just being light on my feet over there and being able to move side to side.

Dykstra: You went to the Arizona Fall League last year and held up pretty well against the competition. What was your biggest takeaway from there?

Baty: We had already played so many games that I was just trying to stay within myself and trying to grind it out. But also, I felt like getting out there and with all those talented guys was really good, and the arms we saw out there from all across Minor League Baseball were really good. It was a great experience.

Dykstra: Last year was basically your first full season between Brooklyn, Binghamton and the AFL. What was your personal highlight?

Baty: Probably the moment I got to go to the Futures Game and then got called up to Binghamton. That was a really good moment for me. I felt like my hard work was paying off. So just being able to go out to Colorado -- with [Francisco] Álvarez too -- and then get the call up right after, that was pretty cool.

Dykstra: Between you, Álvarez and Ronny Mauricio, do you guys see yourselves as a pack coming up together? You all could be together again at Binghamton to start this season.

Baty: Yeah, it's awesome to have those two guys. We've really gotten close over the past couple of years, whether it be instructs or the season last year too. I love being out on the field with them, and hopefully, we help this organization win a championship one day.

Dykstra: You’re a Texas kid from the Austin area. What was the transition like to living and playing in Brooklyn and getting to know New York City culture?

Baty: New York City's a big city, but I've really started to grow to like it. It's just a great place. The people there have been so welcoming to me and my family. So, I just can't wait to get up there and start playing for the fans in that city. It's going to be awesome.

Dykstra: What’s the most eye-opening experience?

Baty: Just taking the subway down to Coney Island all the time. It’s a pretty native New York type of thing. And getting over there on Coney Island and seeing all the roller coasters and all the fair stuff is pretty cool. It's a pretty New York vibe.

Dykstra: Did you and your teammates allow yourselves to see Queens much on days off? It’s one thing to be in Brooklyn, but you guys are trying to make it Flushing.

Baty: Yeah, on a couple of our off days we explored the city a lot. It was really cool, just to get out and see where we're going to be whenever we get there. It’s such a great city, and I can't wait to get up there.

Dykstra: Moving back to baseball, you’re a prospect trying to come up to make a Major League team that is so heavily investing in Major League talent. What is that experience like?

Baty: I'm telling myself that whenever it's my time, it's going to be my time. I can't really control what they're doing up there. But I love what they're doing. They're bringing in really big-name guys and trying to win a championship. That's what I want to do. So, whenever it's my time to go up there and help the team, that's what I'll do. 

Dykstra: How close do you feel right now?

Baty: I mean, I feel really close. But like I said, it's not my decision. All I'm focused on right now is going out and having another good year and really just growing as a baseball player.

Dykstra: Lastly, comparisons aren’t necessarily easy. But when you look at yourself and your game, who could you be or are who are you modeling yourself after in the Majors?

Baty: On the hitting side, I always like to look at Max Muncy and Christian Yelich just because of how quiet they are and how good their hands work and everything like that. On the defensive side, I'm always watching Manny Machado video, Matt Chapman video and Nolan Arenado video. It's really cool to know that I might be able to do that one day.