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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Five

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, May 10th to May 15th?

Brett “The Big Derp” Baty
Ken Lavin

Brett Baty

Week: 6 G, 25 AB, .360/.429/.760, 9 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 9 K, 0/1 SB (Double-A)

2022 Season: 31 G, 116 AB, .285/.366/.466, 33 H, 12 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 BB, 39 K, 0/0 SB, .405 BABIP (Double-A)

With their first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Brett Baty, the twelfth player selected overall. A standout at Lake Travis High School in Travis County, Texas, Baty had been held back a year in the fifth grade- a common practice among children who excel athletically at a young age- he had a leg up on his peers athletically and was more physically developed. By the time he was a senior, he gave up basketball and football and concentrated specifically on baseball. Helping lead the Cavaliers to a 37-4 record and the Class 6A regional tournament in 2019, Baty appeared in 39 games through draft day and hit .602/.737/1.306 with 49 walks, 9 strikeouts, 19 home runs, and 10 stolen bases. In addition, he spent time on the mound, posting a 0.92 ERA in 53.0 innings pitched, allowing 29 hits, walking 12, and striking out 96.

Baty eventually signed for $3.9 million, $466,000 below slot and was assigned to the GCL Mets. His time there was brief, but productive, as he hit .350/.480/.650 in five games. He was then moved up to the Kingsport Mets, where he spent the majority of the season. In 42 games in the Appalachian League, Baty hit .222/.339/.437 with six home runs. In the final week of the season, he got a token promotion to Brooklyn, where he hit .200/.529/.300 in four games and went 3-9 in their playoff run.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not get to play in 2020, but he was invited to the Coney Island alternate site and the fall instructional league, where he impressed many in the organization. When baseball resumed in 2021, the third baseman was assigned to Brooklyn once again, but this incarnation of the Cyclones was a full-season High-A squad, as opposed to the pre-2021 incarnation of the team, which was a Short-A short-season team. Appearing in 51 games, Baty hit .309/.397/.514 with 7 home runs, 24 walks, and 53 strikeouts. He was promoted to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies in mid-July and hit .272/.364/.424 in 40 games there with 5 home runs, 22 walks, and 45 strikeouts, giving him a batting line of .292/.382/.473 on the season with 12 home runs and a 46:98 BB:K ratio.

Baty began the 2022 season with the Rumble Ponies.

Baty’s utilizes a very quiet set-up at the plate, with few moving parts that may help keep him from running into timing issues and getting out of sync at the plate down the line. At the plate, he has a wide base, setting his hands up high and close to his body. Using a moderate leg kick and stride, the ball jumps off his bat with a crack when he makes solid contact. His swing is smooth and easy, generating power through a combination of his own raw strength, his quick bat speed, and the torque from his lower half. Swing-and-miss can sometimes be a problem for Baty, as his swing occasionally gets a bit long and uppercutty, but he generally works the count, fouls away pitches, and duels with pitchers.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing we’ve seen from Baty thus far is his ability to hit for average and take what pitchers are giving him. He has shown significantly better bat to ball skills than pre-draft reports suggested. To this point in his career, Baty has not been shy about using the entire field when given the opportunity to do so, spraying hard line drives to the opposite field semi-regularly when given opportunities to do so. While he has not consistently harnessed in raw power into game situations consistently, his solid approach at the plate bodes well for its future development.

Baty was never unathletic, but he toned up and slimmed down between 2019 and 2021, eliminating many possible questions regarding his defensive home in the near and long-term future. At the hot corner, Baty shows soft hands, good footwork, and an above-average arm that is accurate and has carry. He does not have much traditional quick-twitch muscle, but positioning eliminates and/or mitigates much of the problems that have come with his reaction times and range. Baty does not have a quick first step or afterburners per se, but he is a solid runner once he gets going, making him a surprisingly effective outfielder in the limited innings he spent in left field in 2021. His read off the bat and his routes need a lot of work, but as an infielder for the majority of his baseball career, this is understandable and can improve with more work.

Jose Chacin

Week: Chacin: 2 G (2 GS), 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 12 K (Double-A)

Season: 7 G (7 GS), 31.1 IP, 20 H, 7 R, 5 ER (1.44 ERA), 7 BB, 37 K, .237 BABIP (High-A/Double-A)

Jose Chacin was on the older side when he was signed by the Dodgers in September 2015, suiting up in his first professional games with the DSL Dodgers as a 19-year-old in 2016. He was sent stateside in 2017, spending the season with the AZL Dodgers and then promoted to full-season ball in 2018 with the Great Lakes Loons. After struggling in a handful of starts, it became very apparent that he was not up to the task and sent down to the Ogden Raptors, the Dodgers’ Rookie-level affiliate. He pitched much better for them, posting a 2.85 ERA in 66.1 innings with 77 hits allowed, 14 walks and 51 strikeouts, winning Pioneer League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star honors.

The 22-year-old began the season with the Loons once again and had a strong beginning to the season, winning Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star Honors but had a very rough second half and ended up a 4.68 ERA in 127.0 swingman innings with 147 hits allowed, 26 walks, and 95 strikeouts. Like every other minor leaguer, he missed the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and was then released by the Dodgers in April 2021, just prior to the start of the delayed season. The Mets signed him roughly a month later and assigned him to the FCL Mets. The 24-year-old pitched there for roughly a month, was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets where he pitched for roughly a month, and ended the season in Brooklyn, where he pitched for roughly a month. At all three levels combined, he posted a 3.26 ERA in 60.2 innings, allowing 41 hits, walking 17, and striking out 58.

He began the 2022 season with Brooklyn and after four solid starts there, was promoted to Binghamton.

Chacin throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot. His main pitch is his changeup, and he generally throws the pitch as much or even more than his four-seam fastball or sinker. The pitch sits in the low-to-mid-80s. He complements it with two fastball variations, a four-seam fastball and a sinker. His four-seam fastball sits high-80s-to-mid-90s, generally settling in at 92 and topping out at 94. The pitch features a slightly above-average spin rate for a fastball. The sinker is very similar, sitting in roughly the same velocity band and featuring a similar spin rate. Rounding out his arsenal is a low-to-mid-80s slider and the occasional cutter and curveball, neither of which are thrown with any kind of regularity but generally make one or two cameos per game.

Players of the Week 2022

Week One (April 5-April 17): Francisco Alvarez/Jose Butto
Week Two (April 19-April 24): Daniel Palka/Keyshawn Askew
Week Three (April 26-May 1): Shervyen Newton/Alec Kisena
Week Four (May 3-May 8): Alex Ramirez/David Peterson