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Mets select Brett Baty with 12th overall pick in draft

The lefty-hitting high school third baseman is the team’s first pick of the 2019 draft.

MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With their first-round pick in the 2019 draft and the very first draft pick in the Brodie Van Wagenen era, the Mets have selected third baseman Brett Baty out of Lake Travis High School in Texas. Baty was one of the players that Steve Sypa highlighted as one of the candidates for the team’s selection before the draft, and he had this to say about the high schooler’s offensive potential:

Baty’s carrying tool is his bat. He’s lauded for both his natural feel for hitting and the raw power his smooth, left-handed stroke generates. Those natural tools are put to good use with a surprisingly polished approach for a prep hitter (more on this later). High school stats aren’t particularly informative, but Baty’s senior year stats are worth mentioning just for the absurdity of it; he’s batted .658 with 16 HR in 119 PA, walking 35 times against only six strikeouts.

As far as his defense is concerned, Steve offered the following thoughts:

Defensively, Baty is still a capable third baseman and has a good chance of sticking there. His arm is above average and plays well at the hot corner, but there are some concerns that he could grow out of the position. Those concerns haven’t manifested themselves yet, however, and as long as he doesn’t let his body slip out of shape and lose athleticism, he should be able to remain an average defender at third.

One of the most noteworthy things about Baty is his age, as Steve noted:

The most interesting part of Baty’s story is his advanced age. At 19-and-a-half, Baty is older than many college freshman, and is five months older than the next notable prep player in this class. Playing against competition that’s often a year or more younger than he is makes Baty difficult to evaluate, as he hasn’t really faced much talent at a similar skill level. Such concerns could eventually depress his draft stock, and the track record of 19-year-old first round picks isn’t great. At the same time, the package is impressive for any draft prospect, and pinning down just how much of an advantage Baty’s gotten from being a bit older is a nebulous process at best.

The Mets were largely rumored to be interested in college players leading up to the draft, so the selection of a high school player comes as a bit of a surprise. But as a team with a relative lack of high upside prospects within their organization, they instead seemingly decided to go with a high risk, high reward player to add to their farm system.