brett baty ronny mauricio mets
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With the Mets’ trade-deadline sell-off complete, there’s not much else for New York to accomplish this season. Going 0-6 on their most recent road trip further solidifies that fact. It’s time to just let the kids play, right? That’s true, but third baseman Brett Baty may be racking up innings in Triple-A for the Syracuse Mets soon. If that happens, Ronny Mauricio should take his place (but it probably won’t happen).

One of New York’s top prospects entering 2023, Baty has struggled both in the field and at the plate during his extended opportunity in the big leagues. He went hitless across 23 plate appearances during the Mets’ recent disaster of a road trip. His triple slash is down to .216/.289/.331 with seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 33 runs scored. Baty’s OPS is sitting at .620 to go along with a 77 wRC+ and -0.3 fWAR.

The Mets were hoping to see Baty take advantage of this opportunity. They wanted him to prove he can be a long-term answer at third base. However, his on-field performance hasn’t answered any of those questions yet.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that Mets brass has discussed sending Baty back to Triple-A for a reset. But then again, there aren’t many other options to play third base. There’s Mark Vientos, but he doesn’t come with the best defensive reputation, either.

Here’s the snippet of Puma’s article that was most interesting to me:

The Mets worry about mental and emotional fatigue with Baty, who has spoken to team officials about the difference in concentration level between the minor league and major league levels. In the minor leagues, a player can take pitches off and not worry about repercussions. It’s a different story in the major leagues, especially in New York, where one lapse of concentration can become something that gets dissected for a week. 

“You’re under a microscope up here, so you have got to be engaged from Pitch 1 to the end of the game,” Baty said. “That is something I have got to work on and something I have got to learn, so I am going to do my best at it.” 

The major league grind is relentless, an aspect of the game that often isn’t evident to young players until they arrive and experience it firsthand. Baty played in his 94th game on Sunday — all but nine of them have been for the Mets — placing him close to his career-high from last season. The difference was just 11 of those games came for the Mets last year and 95 were in the minor leagues. 

Puma also noted the Mets wouldn’t swap Baty for Ronny Mauricio. He hasn’t played third base at all this year. It also sounds like they’ll want him to look less “disinterested” before getting a promotion.

I wondered last week if New York would give Mauricio the Pete Alonso treatment and not promote him at all this year. The circumstances are different, but again, what do they have to lose at this point? Following the minor leagues and seeing the organization’s young talent is all fans have left to look forward to.

Mauricio’s wRC+ in Syracuse is currently sitting at 99 (100 is average). After a torrid start, his offense has mostly been subpar since the beginning of June. That could be for a number of reasons, though:

We get so caught up with following pro sports that we forget players aren’t robots. They’re actually humans and outside variables impact them, too.

Here’s my thought, though. If the Mets decide Baty needs a reset, they should swap him for Mauricio. Ronny hasn’t played third base at all, and putting Vientos there every day may not be the optimal choice. However, he also needs to play.

But if they’re vehemently opposed to that? Then simply shift Jeff McNeil over to third base on a regular basis and let Ronny play second.

We recently heard Billy Eppler say the organization wants Mauricio to get better acclimated to second base and left field in Syracuse. But again, what is there to lose? Will there be bumps and growing pains along the way? Sure — we’ve seen that with Baty and he’s playing his primary position. The experiment can’t be much worse than Lucas Duda or Daniel Murphy trying to play the outfield.

Fans have been clamoring to see Mauricio in Queens for months now. If Baty gets optioned, bring Ronny up, and let’s see what happens. It’s not like the results could be any worse than what we’ve seen over the past week.

They won’t do it, though. Even if rumors start to circulate that it might happen, I’ve been burned enough times to know I’ll have to see it to believe it.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.