The third baseman was in Syracuse’s lineup against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and after striking out in his first at-bat, he took Yankees pitching prospect Clayton Beeter deep on a 1-0 fastball that went 362 feet. The homer occurred with Ronny Mauricio on first base and gave Syracuse a 2-0 lead.
The former top prospect was demoted to Triple-A earlier this week after struggling on the big-league level since his mid-April call up. In 86 games with the Mets, Baty slashed .216/.289/.331 with seven home runs and 27 RBI.
Baty’s home run with Syracuse on Thursday was his sixth this season in the minors. He finished 1-for-4 with a walk, two runs and two strikeouts. He’s now hitting .385 with 17 RBI in 10 games in Triple-A.
Following the demotion, SNY Insider Andy Martino explained the thinking behind the move on Baseball Night in New York.
“Well, they just thought — talking to Mets people — Baty just wasn’t at his best self and he needed a timeout,” Martino said. “He needed to recover some confidence. When he came up here — Brett Baty had swagger, at his best, in the most positive way. He’s a nice, down-to-earth guy. But he carries himself with a lot of confidence, and they felt that he lost that confidence.”
Mets GM Billy Eppler spoke on the subject while speaking with Joel Shoerman on “The Show” podcast, saying that Syracuse is where Baty can “feel a little bit more freedom to try things” and give him the freedom to play loose on the defensive side of the ball.
In 81 games at third base, Baty had nine errors and was a -6 in outs above average according to Baseball Savant.
One sure-handed Mets third baseman, David Wright, believes Baty’s demotion can be a good thing for the young infielder and that he can return to the big leagues better than before.
“I think that every young player should fail at some point early on in their career. Not necessarily this stage, in minor leagues somewhere where you learn to deal with some failure,” he said. “…If Brett Baty can go down to the minor leagues after struggling a little bit here, turn this around, see the light at the end of the tunnel, come back with that renewed confidence of saying, ‘hey look, I know what kind of player I am, it wasn’t the player I was the first chance I got but I’m going to get this second chance and take a hold of it’ I think that would go a long way for any young player.”
It’s unclear how long the Mets plan to have Baty play in Syracuse, but with September call ups around the corner it’s always possible the infielder can make a return to Flushing.