Mets call up No. 2 prospect Brett Baty ahead of Dodgers series

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Mets have seen all they need to see. They’re calling up third baseman Brett Baty.

The club plans to have their No. 2-ranked prospect meet the team in Los Angeles ahead of their series against the Dodgers on Monday.

It’s unclear what role Eduardo Escobar will play moving forward. The 34-year-old veteran is in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Oakland A’s at RingCentral Coliseum and manager Buck Showalter defended the scuffling third baseman.

“He’s our starting third baseman today,” Showalter said. “He’s a big contributor here on and off the field and we’ll continue to make use of his skills.”

The shadow of Baty has been looming since the 23-year-old outplayed Escobar in spring training. Escobar has been completely cold to start the season. Coming into Sunday, he was hitting just .114 with a .394 OPS, with six RBI, one home run and two doubles, one of which came off of a position player Friday night. The bottom of the Mets’ lineup has failed to produce but no one has struggled more than Escobar.

Meanwhile, Baty has hit the cover off the ball in Triple-A, slashing .400/.500/.886 with a 1.386 OPS. Baty has hit five home runs, driven in 15 runs, scored nine and stolen two bases in four attempts. He has struck out only nine times and walked seven in 42 plate appearances.

The decision to send Baty to Triple-A to start the season was met with hostility from Mets fans, but the club wanted to see him meet certain benchmarks in Triple-A.

“You learn by playing a lot,” general manager Billy Eppler said in March after optioning Baty and Mark Vientos to Triple-A. “While he had a great camp and we’re really excited about his future, there are just more development markers left for him to reach.”

Baty played just six games in Triple-A in 2022 and the Mets wanted to see him tested at a higher level, especially defensively, before calling him to the Major Leagues. But given the numbers he has put up this season, Triple-A pitching doesn’t seem to be challenging him and it can be a detriment to development to keep a player at a lower level when that becomes the case.

The Mets plans have clearly changed.

It’s clear Escobar was not going to produce the way he once did at third and Baty needs to be challenged with Major League pitching. Baty showed excellent defensive fundamentals and improvements during spring training, much of which he attributed to his offseason work with former Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

An Austin, Texas native, Baty was drafted out of Lake Travis High School at 12th overall in the 2019 draft. He excelled at every level of pro baseball and was called up to the big leagues last summer. Baty hit just .184 in 11 games for the Mets last season before being shut down to undergo thumb surgery.

But that average was not considered indicative of what he’s capable of and he was hamstrung by the thumb injury. He still managed two home runs, showing a preview of the power tool.

The Mets now have a decision to make with Escobar, but they did what was necessary for a lineup hitting just .228, the third-worst mark in the league.


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