Following a productive trade deadline in which the Mets offloaded the likes of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the Mets now have a minor league system that is bursting at the seams with talent. Despite this failed season, their ascension to the 11th spot in’s latest farm system rankings should have Mets fans excited for the upcoming seasons. A lot of the top talent is primed to make their debut in the near future, meaning there will be a ton of competition at the top level. This competition will in the end benefit the fans and the team, but some players will be impacted and ultimately lose out on a roster spot.

Of everyone who is in danger of losing their spot on the roster, perhaps no one is more in danger than Brett Baty. Baty entered this season with the keys to third base, but his lack of performance and injuries has opened the door for other candidates to take the job from him. Perhaps the biggest indicator of Baty’s job being in danger is Ronny Mauricio earning the start at third base on Friday, despite having only 17 innings under his professional belt at the position. Yes, Baty was out due to a groin strain and did collect two hits on Wednesday, but it is telling that Mauricio is getting looks at a position he has hardly gotten his feet wet in.

Baty began the year batting a pedestrian .244 with 5 home runs, but that does not hold a candle to his poor performance in the second half. This half, Baty has struggled in many ways, but he has performed especially poorly when facing lefties. His batting average in the second half is a measly .146, and he has an on base percentage of .214. This warranted Baty being sent down to regain confidence, which is normal for a player of his age. Even since his call back to the majors however, Baty has not performed up to his potential or his pre-debut rankings.

What does this mean for Baty’s future with the team? Well, his performance has certainly put his standing on the roster in jeopardy. There is no doubt that Baty has the potential to improve. He is only 23 years old, and might need some more time to develop. The issue there is that next season, and the season beyond, the Mets will not have the patience for someone who needs to develop, they will be looking for someone who is ready to create impact. For the team, there are several ways directions they can go in.

If Mauricio is able to handle himself well at third base, he could be the logical option. There is no doubt that he has made an instant impact on the team since his arrival on September 1. His slashline is .306/.342/.444 along with a moonshot home run since joining the team, but he has also provided a fresh energy to the squad that can only be rivaled by fellow rookie Kodai Senga. Mauricio also has the advantage of having an entire offseason to learn the position, so even if he does not start strong, he can still learn the position at his age.

In addition to Mauricio, Mark Vientos has also become an option for the Mets to look at at third base. While he has not had the rollicking start that Mauricio has, Vientos has performed better since returning from the IL. Unlike Mauricio, Vientos is a third baseman by trade, and he is the only third baseman that the team currently has other than Baty.

Despite his short tenure with the team, Mauricio has captured the excitement of Mets fans. He is also clearly capturing the attention of the front office. His natural position, either second or shortstop, has become log jammed due to the acquisitions of Luisangel Acuna, Jett Williams, and the fact that Francisco Lindor will be the shortstop for the foreseeable future for the team. This may force Mauricio to permanently switch his position to third base. With Mauricio being forced over to third, this may mean that Baty is forced off of the roster. No matter what, Baty will need to start proving his abilities before he is supplanted by Mauricio or another Mets prospect that will be willing to move to third. If he does not improve, he might find himself on another roster, and Mauricio might find himself as the electric third baseman this team has been missing since the departure of David Wright.

3 comments on “Brett Baty might force the Mets’ hand at third base

  • Paulc

    It’s only a small sample size of 40 AB, but Mauricio’s OPS+ is 105. I’m not ready to hand him the keys to a high-offense corner position. Maybe better to slot him at 2B and move McNeil to LF then see is Vientos/Baty can hit well enough to play 3B.

  • Koos

    I’m thinking Mauricio has to be a better 3B than Vientos.

  • Metsense

    Baty (and Vientos) are in danger of losing their major league roster spots. If Mauricio still does what he is doing then he is the logical candidate. After 312 at bats the Mets would be justified to send him down at the start of 2024 because they can’t rely on him to produce. His lack of production would hamstring chances for the team of making the playoffs. Baty is young and still get a chance if there is an injury.
    The Met s could also look into the 30-year-old free agent , Jeimer Candelario. He is a switch hitter, plays third, first, DH has 121 OPS+ with 21 HR and was paid $5m this year.

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