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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Seventeen

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, August 1st to August 7th?

Brett Baty smiles during Rumble Ponies warmups
Brett Baty
Chris McShane

Brett Baty

Week: 6 G, 23 AB, .391/.517/.826, 9 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 3 K, 0/0 SB (Double-A)

2022 Season: 89 G, 340 AB, .312/.406/.544, 106 H, 22 2B, 0 3B, 19 HR, 46 BB, 98 K, 2/5 SB, .390 BABIP (Double-A)

Earlier in the season, there were concerns about Brett Baty. More specifically, we knew that he could hit the ball for power, but he really wasn’t doing so. In 18 games in April, he hit .297/.375/.469 in 18 games, which is perfectly fine, but that slugging percentage was buoyed by 8 doubles; in 64 at-bats, he only slugged a single home run. Things looked worse in May. In 18 games, he hit .206/.325/.353 with 4 doubles and 2 home runs. Clearly, something was wrong and Baty was put on the 7-day injured list at the end of May.

When the third baseman returned, he was a completely different player. Whether it was an actual physical thing or a mental thing, the couple of days of actual rest and relaxation was just what the doctor ordered. Through his first ten games, he went hitless just twice and had 5 multi-hit games. He finished the month of June hitting .326/.429/.517 with 2 doubles and 5 home runs. July did not slow him down, as he hit .365/.435/.688 with 7 doubles and 8 home runs in 4 games, and through 6 games in August, he is hitting .391/.517/.826 with 1 double and 3 home runs.

It’s hard to find much to critique Baty about currently. If anyone is to be criticized, it’s really the Mets. Mark Vientos has been weaned off of third base since the season began and has primarily been playing first base and DH for Syracuse. Since mid-June, Vientos has played 34 game and started at third base 6 times. Luke Ritter, Devin Marrero, Kramer Robertson, Tzu-Wei Lin, JT Riddle, and Gosuke Katoh have all manned the hot corner, meaning that the team does not really have a full-time third baseman and certainly nobody that would be blocking Brett Baty.

Between the second half of 2021 and the games he played this year, Brett Baty more or less has an entire season’s worth of games at the Double-A level. In those 129 games with the Rumble Ponies, the 22-year-old has a cumulative .299/.393/.507 batting line with 24 home runs, 68 walks, and 143 strikeouts. There isn’t much left for Baty to be challenged by in Double-A, and that’s been apparent for weeks now. The Mets need to be more flexible promoting players regardless of whatever benchmarks they want to see players meet.

EDIT: Hours after I wrote this, the Mets announced that they were going to be promoting Brett Baty to Triple-A. Clearly, I have pull within the organization.

Joel Diaz

Week: 1 G (0 GS), 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (Single-A)

Season: 10 G (7 GS), 34.1 IP, 42 H, 26 R, 26 ER (6.82 ERA), 15 BB, 30 K, .362 BABIP (Single-A/High-A)

Signed by the Mets on January 15, 2021, the first day of the 2021-2022 international free agent signing period, right-hander Joel Diaz had a phenomenal debut season. Assigned to Dominican Summer League, the 17-year-old posted a 0.54 ERA in 50.1 innings, allowing 29 hits, walking 9, and striking out 63. Since 2010, only Sixto Sánchez has posted a lower qualified ERA in his age-17 season, posting a 0.50 ERA in 54.0 innings with the GCL Phillies in 2016.

The young hurler gained a massive amount of helium this past winter as a result, and the Mets seemed to have a second promising international free agent hurler in their ranks, with Robert Dominguez having impressed scouts and evaluators when he was signed roughly a year before. Diaz came stateside in 2022 and was assigned to the St. Lucie Mets in late May. Much like Dominguez’ results did not match the hype prior to his Tommy John surgery, Diaz has yet to really get into a groove with St. Lucie. Barely 18 however, he still has plenty of time.

Diaz throws from a three-quarters arm slot, short-arming the ball and really folding over and dropping when pushing off the mound, giving him a lower release point. He stands an even 6’ tall and weighs 210 pounds, giving him a solid frame for starting at the present with his thick trunk suggesting the possibility of further growth and/or more muscle mass in the future.

The right-hander throws four pitches: a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, and changeup.

His fastball ranges between 92-95 MPH, averaging 94 MPH so far this season. Though the 2200 RPM it has averaged is not particularly high, the pitch has some ride up in the zone, and batters have had trouble squaring up on it, as all balls put in play have averaged a 71.1 MPH exit velocity. His sinker has shown a bit more variance in its velocity, sitting 89-96 MPH and also averaging 94 MPH. The pitch has averaged slightly above-average spin rates for a sinker and has featured slightly above-average vertical and horizontal break as compared to the average MLB sinker this season.

His curveball ranges between 75-81 MPH, averaging 78 MPH. The pitch features 11-5 shape and flashes above-average possibility. His changeup sits in the mid-80s, averaging 86 MPH. The pitch features a low spin rate, giving it good fade and tumble. In the DSL, he tended to rely on his fastball and changeup until the second time through the order, but with St. Lucie, his curveball has been his primary secondary pitch, only throwing a handful of changeups per game. At times, he has struggled with his curveball command, and throwing it more frequently this season, his walk rate has risen as a result.

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
Week Five: (May 10-May 15): Brett Baty/Jose Chacin
Week Six: (May 17-May 22): Jaylen Palmer/Mike Vasil
Week Seven (May 24th-May 29th): Francisco Alvarez/Connor Grey
Week Eight (May 31-June 5th): Khalil Lee/Jose Butto
Week Nine (June 7-June 12): Stanley Consuegra/Nick Zwack
Week Ten (June 14-June 19): Daniel Palka/Alex Valverde
Week Eleven (June 21-June 26): Travis Blankenhorn/Dominic Hamel
Week Twelve (June 28-July 3): Alex Ramirez/Luis Moreno
Week Thirteen (July 4-July 10): Gosuke Katoh/Nick Zwack
Week Fourteen (July 11-July 17): Stanley Consuegra/Carson Seymour
Week Fifteen (July 21-July 24): Alex Ramirez/Carson Seymour
Week Sixteen (July 25-July 31): Karell Paz/Luis Moreno & Keyshawn Askew