Going into his first draft as a GM, Brodie Van Wagenen was looking to stock up on high-upside talent. With the Mets first-round pick, the 12th pick, the Mets selected 19-year-old 3B Brett Baty out of Lake Travis High-School in Lake Travis Texas.
With raw power and some great strength and loft in his sweet lefty swing, Baty projects to be an above-average hitter with some solid defense at the hot corner. Sizing up to 6’3 and weighing in at 210 pounds, Baty is an impressive looking athlete even though he doesn’t have much speed.
Through his first three games, Brett is batting .308/.400/.462 with two doubles and three RBI’s for the Gulf Coast League before being promoted to the Appalachian League with the Kingsport Mets, the rookie affiliate for New York.
The third base prospect took time out for us to get to know him better:
Yehuda Schwartz: How has your first taste of pro ball been?
Brett Baty: Its been really cool. I’ve gotten to develop a lot more and there is a lot more time to work on stuff and the coaches here have been really awesome.
YS: You went into New York City for the physical and the press conference. What did you think of NYC?
BB: It was really awesome. They gave me a tour of the stadium and I got to take BP with the big leaguers it was really fun and awesome. Then meeting the GM and the press conference was really fun.
YS: There was a big buzz around the fact that you and Pete Alonso chatted it up. What do you think of Alonso as a person and then as a player this season?
BB: He was really cool. He gave me a lot of advice about going through the minor leagues and stuff like that. It was really cool to talk to him and then hit with him. He’s been having a great year so far. He has been hitting a lot of home runs so far and he is just a really good player.
YS: For fans that don’t know, what kind of player are you on the offensive side of things and the defensive side of things?
BB: I’m a hitter that can drive the ball to all fields, I try to stay within my approach at the plate and not swing at bad pitches but the velocity down here (GCL) is pretty tough so I’ve swung at a few bad pitches here. Just overall plate discipline and driving the ball to all fields is what I’m really best at. On the defensive side, I have a pretty strong arm at third-base and just staying in front of balls, fielding them, and then using my arm strength across the diamond.
YS: Have you ever played any other positions?
BB: I have played corner outfield and first base but I’m going to stay at third base.
YS: What pitch do you hate to see?
BB: A really good splitter. It seems to die off as its coming in. It’s probably the worst pitch I want to see.
YS: When you hit that double for your first professional hit, what was going through your mind?
BB: It was just an amazing feeling. It was probably one of the hardest balls I’ve ever hit. It was a low outside fastball and I stayed on it and drove it the other way. That is what I’m best at. It was really cool to know that was my first professional hit.
YS: What is the difference going from high school to the pros?
BB: It’s going from metal to wood which I was used to because I’ve used wood as a kid. The time you spend on baseball now is spent all day versus in high school where you have to deal with school also. You spend a lot more time doing the little things and perfecting your craft. That has been the one thing that stood out to me, the time you spend out there.
YS: You were one of four players at MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey for the MLB draft. How did you decide to go to the draft?
BB: It was a tough decision. Me and my family had a lot of talks about it. My worst fear was going there and not getting picked in the first round because nothing is a sure thing. I was a little nervous about that happening but we just had a talk and we understood that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would never be able to do that again. They (The MLB) made it sweet for all the players there, by taking us to a Yankees game and giving us a tour of New York City and things like that. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m super excited that I went.
YS: What did you think about all those 30 or so reporters that just bombarded you right after you got drafted?
BB: That was definitely crazy because I’ve never been swarmed that much by reporters but I’ve done interviews before in high school but that was so surreal at the moment but I got through it.
YS: Who did you talk to at Citi Field besides Pete Alonso?
BB: I got to talk to Robinson Cano, Jason Vargas, Wilson Ramos, I got to meet Jacob deGrom, I also got to talk to Michael Conforto.
YS: How does a team live through long stretches of struggles and what is the vibe in the clubhouse during a time like that?
BB: I personally don’t know because I’ve been part of some winning programs and never had those kinds of seasons but I definitely think that the Mets just are going to take it one day at a time and know that its the game of baseball which is really hard and you just gotta drive to the postseason so they aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary I hope and staying positive in the clubhouse knowing that its just baseball.
YS: What are the big difference from high school to the pros?
BB: Its really all the time on the little things and the fact that you can go out and do some early work while in high school its all in group settings and you are only out there for two hours and it was all just getting reps and more reps and here (GCL) you are out there for five hours but you are doing little things to help your game get better which has helped me develop a lot already.
YS: As a young player in a new league how do you adjust to the atmosphere?
BB: It was pretty overwhelming meeting all these new people, being in a new atmosphere and everything like that but now I’m settled in. It’s just been fun to meet all of the new guys and just play baseball with them all day.
YS: Have you ever met any big leaguers or former big leaguers?
BB: Yes my hitting coach actually won a World Series with the Cardinals his name is Rob Johnson he was the backup catcher.
YS: In high-school are there any intense rivalries?
BB: In the playoffs, it can get intense.
YS: Did you have a commitment to any college?
BB: Yes the University of Texas
YS: Did the Mets have to really push at all to get you to sign?
BB: No not really.
Football Team- Dallas Cowboys
Basketball Team- San Antonio Spurs
Baseball Team- Texas Rangers
Favorite Players- Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Christian Yelich
Favorite Music Genre- Country
Favorite Artists- Thomas Rhett
Favorite Movie- Fast and Furious
Favorite Netflix Show- Friday Night Live
Favorite Food- Steak and mashed potatoes
Favorite Color- Blue
Favorite Car- Toyota 4Runner