Bursting onto the scene after hitting a home run in his first at-bat in the majors, the third baseman regressed a bit as he tried to get acclimated to big-league pitching. In 11 games, Baty batted 7-for-38 (.184) with two home runs and five RBI before he injured his finger in August that required surgery and ended his season.
With the late-season surge of Eduardo Escobar and the plan to sign Carlos Correa and move him to third base, Baty seemed to be a man without a spot on the team. However, he’s willing to play any position if it means he’s on the roster.
“At the end of the day, you want that guy on your team,” Baty told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo of Correa. “If we did end up signing him, I would have been fine with going to try to play left field if somebody needed a day off or something like that. I just want to be in the big leagues helping a team win.”
Of course, the Mets didn’t sign the big-time shortstop so Baty won’t have to shag fly balls in the outfield after all, but entering spring training he has his sights set on winning a job on the Opening Day roster.
DiComo added on SNY’s Baseball Night in New York on Friday that being a third baseman “works better” for Baty and that he’s going into camp thinking that he could win the starting job. And he’ll have his opportunity.
With Escobar going to play in the World Baseball Classic in March, that’ll leave a lot of at-bats and reps at third base for Baty.
“I see it like, if I go out there and show them that I’m capable of playing really solid defense and swinging it against major league pitching in spring training, I feel like I’m going to get a shot,” said Baty. “I’m going to get a look. But at the end of the day, it’s their call.”
And it’s not like the Mets aren’t committed to him. The organization reportedly rejected proposed trades from the Miami Marlins this offseason that would have sent Baty to Florida for one of their young starters.
They see something in Baty, now he’ll just need to show them that their outlook on him is correct.