Brett Baty has heard the whispers.
The 21-year-old third baseman and leftfielder for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Mets’ Double-A affiliate, chooses to deflect thoughts that he could be the Mets’ third baseman in the near future.
"I usually try to block all that out," said Baty, who is ranked the Mets’ fifth best prospect, including having the best power and strike zone discipline in the system, by Baseball America. "My focus is on Binghamton and the Double-A level. I’m up here trying to get better and improve myself.
"I’m really not worried about two or three years down the road or whatever. Obviously, I’m excited that [people] think that I could be [the Mets’ future third baseman]. For now, I’m just trying to focus on playing at Binghamton."
Baty (pronounced BAY-dee) was impressive in 51 games at High-A Brooklyn this season. His slash line was .309/.397/.514 with seven home runs, 14 doubles, 27 runs and 34 RBIs before his promotion to Binghamton on July 13 after he played two days earlier in the Futures Game at Coors Field in Colorado.
"It was awesome — the experience of a lifetime," said Baty, who was 0-for-2. "I got to play with so many talented guys, and getting out there in a big-league stadium full of fans, and that atmosphere, was a dream come true for sure."
The Mets’ 2019 first round pick (and 12th overall selection in the MLB Draft) out of Lake Travis (Texas) High School was hitting .196 with one homer, seven runs and seven RBIs in 13 games through Thursday in Binghamton.
"He had a slow start which — for us who have been in the game for a while — doesn’t surprise us," Rumble Ponies manager Lorenzo Bundy said. "The jump from A ball, whether it’s high-A or low-A to Double-A, is probably the biggest jump on the way to the big leagues besides getting to the big leagues."
Said Baty: "I wouldn’t say I’m pressing. The competition is a little bit better, and the pitchers [at Double-A] know how to locate the ball better. Other than that it’s pretty much the same. I’ll grind it out."
However, the Mets’ No. 4 prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline, has shown signs of settling in at Binghamton. Baty had a 4-for-4, six-RBI performance in a win against Erie that included his first Double-A home run on July 24.
"That [game] gave me a ton of confidence and I want to ride that out," he said. "I went about my business and I was fortunate enough to get some pitches up in the zone and I did some damage."
The natural third baseman has been playing two games a week in leftfield, according to Bundy, a move the 6-3, 210-pounder has enjoyed.
"It’s been awesome to show a little of my versatility and athleticism," Baty said, "playing a different position than third base."
Baty knows the possibilities in front of him, but is determined to focus each day on getting better.
"I’m ready to tackle Binghamton and the Double-A level," he said. "I’m seeing the ball well and I’m confident . . . I couldn’t ask for a better situation."
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.