Mets GM Billy Eppler explains why Brett Baty was optioned
New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler explained why the team decided to send down prospect Brett Baty despite having a strong spring.
This past weekend was a good one for some of the top prospects in MLB. On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals informed Jordan Walker that he would be making the Opening Day roster. Then on Sunday, the New York Yankees named shortstop Anthony Volpe to their 26-man roster to start the 2023 season.
But for the New York Mets, third baseman Brett Baty didn’t receive a spot on the roster. Instead, he was optioned back down to Triple-A.
While speaking with the media on Saturday, Mets general manager Billy Eppler revealed why he decided to option Baty to Triple-A Syracuse despite having strong performances throughout spring training.
Eppler’s comments come courtesy of MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Billy Eppler reveals why Mets didn’t name Brett Baty to Opening Day roster
“It was a tough decision,” said Eppler. “We met this morning as a staff with the coaching staff and front office staff. We had a pretty long meeting, walked through a lot of different combinations and went around the room, and the consensus of the room was it was best served to have him start in Triple-A.
“One of the things that we talked about, with Brett, we think he’s got a chance to be an above average regular player at the major league level, for a championship caliber team.”
Eppler continued, bringing up some of the top third basemen in the game like Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals, Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox, and Austin Riley of the Atlanta Braves and how they played over 300 games at the position in the minor league level.
“You learn by playing a lot, and while he had a great camp, we’re really excited about his future, there’s just some more development markers left for him to reach,” said Eppler. “He’ll go down, probably carry a lot that he consumed here in Triple-A and we’re really excited about his future and the type of kid he is and what he does in the batter’s box, but also the strides he’s made defensively.”
The 2019 first-round pick by the Mets has logged three seasons in the minor leagues, where he played 173 games at third base.
Baty received his major league call-up in Aug. 17 last season, filling in for Luis Guillorme. He made an immediate impact, hitting his first home run in his first at-bat in the team’s game against the Atlanta Braves. He played in just 11 games last year, recording a .184 batting average, a .244 on-base percentage, a .342 slugging percentage, two home runs, four runs scored, five RBI, and seven hits.
This spring, Baty was impressive at the plate and at third base. The 23-year-old slashed .325/.460/.425 while recording one home run, six RBI, seven runs scored, and 13 hits in the batter’s box. At third, Baty recorded 11 putouts, 26 assists, and four errors in 41 total chances.
Even though Baty impressed through spring training, Eppler and the Mets believed he would be better suited getting some more reps at third base first.