Mets' Baty drills three hits in perfect night

November 13th, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The only thing that could stop Mets third base prospect Brett Baty on Friday night was an innings limit.

With Salt River’s game against Peoria shortened to seven innings, Baty was in the on-deck circle in the bottom of the sixth when the Brewers’ Weston Wilson struck out to end the inning. As the home team holding a lead, Baty didn’t get the chance to extend his perfect night as the Javelinas went down in order and Baty’s Rafters won, 6-3.

“We’re always hoping for a fourth AB, but tonight was only seven innings,” Baty said. “I’m just glad we got the win.”

Wins have been a little tough to come by for Salt River, but Baty had a lot to do with this one. MLB Pipeline’s No. 45 overall prospect went 3-for-3 with a trio of absolutely scorched base hits and three RBIs. The first one came in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first, an opposite-field double that registered as 109.1 mph off the bat according to StatCast. D-backs prospect Buddy Kennedy hit the first of his two doubles in the second to double the Rafters lead.

Peoria got on the board, halving the lead in the top of the third inning. After Pirates prospect Nick Gonzales walked – he went 1-for-3 to see his league-leading average drop to .380 – Phillies infielder Bryson Stott hit his second homer in as many nights to make it 4-2. Stott was first-pitch swinging and turned around a 92-mph fastball, launching it 426 feet down the right-field line at 110 mph off the bat. The blast brought his RBI total to 24, putting him in a tie for second in the AFL.

Salt River wouldn’t wait long to answer back and it was Baty again in the middle of things. His one-out single to right in the bottom of the third was over 105 mph off the bat and he eventually came around to score on a bases-loaded walk to fellow Mets infielder Wilmer Reyes. And after the Javelinas made it 5-3 in the fourth, Baty drove in Kennedy in the bottom of the frame with a 108.7-mph single. It was Baty’s second straight three-hit game and brought his season line up to .304/.391/.430.

“It was just me and my hitting coaches getting in there and really just cleaning some things up,” Baty said. “There are a ton of really good arms out here and it’s tough out here, but I’m just trying to stay within myself right now.

“I’m just getting back into my back side a little bit sooner, a little bit smoother, just so I could see the ball a little bit better. I was kind of getting jumpy, but now I’m staying back a little bit, letting the ball travel and doing my thing.”

He’s doing his thing despite what has been a very long season undoubtedly wearing him out at this point. Though he played in just 91 games during the year, with a slew of COVID-related cancellations while he was with Double-A Binghamton, he’s now played in 113 total in a year that included a promotion from High-A to Double-A, a Futures Game nod and now the AFL (with a Fall Stars Game performance to come on Saturday).

“Me and my buddies were talking about it,” Baty said. “We’ve been playing since mid-February, so we’re itching for that break. But at the end of the day, we’re out here playing baseball, it’s a game and we’re having fun out here. I’m enjoying myself.”