The Mets are calling top infield prospect Brett Baty up to the Major League roster, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (via Twitter). The 2019 No. 12 overall draft pick will need to have his contract formally selected to the 40-man roster. Mike Puma of the New York Post further reports that the move to select Baty won’t officially take place until tomorrow (Twitter link).
New York also appears set to recall righty Stephen Nogosek from Triple-A, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets that there’s a locker in the clubhouse for him. Nogosek will likely take the roster spot of Carlos Carrasco, who’s IL-bound due to an oblique strain.
Baty, 22, has split the season between Double-A and Triple-A, posting monster numbers at each stop (albeit through just six games in Triple-A thus far). Ranked as the game’s No. 26 prospect at FanGraphs, No. 28 at Baseball America and No. 38 at The Athletic, the lefty-swinging Baty has turned in an outstanding .315/.410/.533 batting line with 19 home runs and 22 doubles in a combined 420 plate appearances. He’s walked at a hearty 11.7% clip and fanned in 24.8% of his plate appearances so far.
Rumors of a potential Baty promotion were swirling over the weekend, although Mets skipper Buck Showalter briefly put an end to those yesterday, when he specifically indicated that a Baty promotion wasn’t in the cards. Whether that statement only applied to Monday or whether the organization simply had a change of heart matters little at this point. Baty will join the Mets in Atlanta and figures to see regular playing time with Luis Guillorme out up to six weeks and veteran Eduardo Escobar currently banged up. (Teams don’t call up prospects of Baty’s caliber just to sit them on the bench or deploy them in minimal roles.)
Scouting reports on Baty suggest that he’s both begun to elevate the ball more often in 2022 — resulting in an uptick in power output — and improved defensively at the hot corner. The Mets have also tried him out in left field on occasion, but with Guillorme shelved and Escobar not at 100%, Baty seems likely to be installed at his traditional position, third base, for the time being. It’ll be a telling trial run, as Baty has all the tools necessary to be the long-term option at the hot corner in Queens — and this could well be the onset of that anointment.
The Mets are surely more focused on their production over the season’s final few weeks than on Baty’s service time, but it’s still worth quickly touching on his outlook in that regard. Baty can’t get to a full year of service in 2022, nor will he be able to accrue enough time to push the boundaries of Super Two eligibility. Even he’s up for the rest of the season, he’ll still be on track to reach arbitration eligibility following the 2025 campaign and will remain under team control all the way through 2028. Future optional assignments could further push back those critical milestones, of course.
If Baty indeed cements himself as a viable regular in the coming weeks, Escobar’s role on the club will become increasingly murky. Signed to a two-year, $20MM contract in the offseason, the 33-year-old veteran has floundered en route to a .216/.269/.384 batting line through 409 plate appearances. With Baty at third base and Jeff McNeil at second, Escobar’s role would seemingly be relegated to that of a pricey bench piece.