June 18, 2024

Brett Baty, the New York Mets’ rookie third baseman, has had a hard stretch, as well as a rough month of May. Baty has only had 11 hits this month while hitting.193 with three home runs and seven RBIs. The only thing Baty has done exceptionally well all season is maintain consistency with the glove. He has been outstanding at third base, and supporters couldn’t be happier with his growth. However, he is currently competing for the everyday role with Mark Vientos, who has been particularly productive on the attacking side.

Vientos has 8 hits since returning to the big leagues on May 15th.320 with two home runs and four RBIs. The Mets have struggled to keep him out of the lineup, especially given the club’s present situation. With that said, let’s look at a few of the reasons why the lefty slugger is struggling at the plate.

1. Strikeout Percentage

Baty’s strikeout percentage has been a big issue, causing him to struggle tremendously at the plate. Baty’s current strikeout percentage is 42.2%, and he has struck out 24 times this month alone. According to Baseball Savant, he has a very low chase rate (24th percentile) and a whiff rate (38th percentile). Baty isn’t getting as many competitive at-bats as he had earlier in the season, and even if he does ultimately break through offensively, there will be a drawback.

2. Squared Up Contact Percentage

Baty currently has a squared up contact percentage of 19.1%, the lowest among 220 qualifying players. This suggests that Baty is not making good swings on the baseball, which also relates to the number of times he is thrown out at the plate. Baty is in a deep slump, which may be exceedingly difficult to break out of, especially with Triple-A looming in the near future.

 

Oh Where, Oh Where Can Brett Baty Be? | FanGraphs Baseball

 

After the Mets’ three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians, manager Carlos Mendoza spoke about Baty’s struggles. “I think he’s a little in between at the plate right now–,” Mendoza said. “Not doing damage on pitches when he should be doing damage, then pursuing. At some point, every batter will experience it. He’s going through it now, and we’ll get him right.”

When the going gets tough, Baty isn’t mentally prepared and needs to recover control. If this continues, it may not be a terrible idea to send him to Triple-A for a short time to build his confidence and push him in the correct direction to get back on track.

3. Batting Average Against Certain Pitches

Baty’s best weapon at one point this season was his batting average against opposition pitchers’ fastballs. While he currently has a.296 batting average against fastballs, he was well over.400 against them at his heyday. These two statistics are far apart, allowing fans to notice his catastrophic slide for the time being.

Other than the fastball, Baty suffers with anything off-speed. He has been unable to time these pitches well and has not adjusted to them, which may cause another huge concern with his offensive productivity. Baty is only batting.160 against these pitches, which means that instead of getting his barrel to the ball, these at-bats conclude with him chasing or whiffing on strike three.

Hopefully, Baty can turn things around and provide the spark of life that the Mets require now more than ever.

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