Brett Baty An Indictment Of Mets Coaching Staff
On the season, Baty is hitting .216/.289/.331 with 11 doubles, seven homers, and 27 RBI. Remember, over his first 13 games, he was hitting .333/.391/.524.
Overall, he’s at a -0.6 WAR, 73 OPS+, and a 77 wRC+. If he had enough plate appearances to qualify, he would be the worst third baseman in baseball by a fairly wide margin.
The argument in the beginning was, well, at least he’s good defensively. That was true when he was a 2 OAA in June. It’s now August, and Baty is a -4 OAA.
By wRC+, he’s the worst hitter at the position. By OAA, he’s the the third worst defensive third baseman. In total, he’s the worst at the position in the majors.
In all honesty, when Baty was first a prospect in the Mets farm system, this result was a real concern. The thought was with his size he may eventually need to move off third. At the plate, his ground ball rate was too high with a lot of swing-and-miss potential.
That said, he corrected all of that. He was hitting line drives instead of grounders. He became a good defender. He got to the point where the Mets third baseman of the future needed to be the third baseman of the present.
From there, everything has gone wrong.
As noted, his defense has been very bad for two months. He has a 27.7 K%, the worst he’s ever had in full season ball. He has a 51.3 GB%. He’s a ground ball machine who strikes out too much.
The Mets looking to demote him now is just inane. The damage is done. In fact, instead of demoting him, the Mets should be taking a hard look at their coaching staff.
What has Joey Cora been doing to actively assist in making Baty significantly worse at third? What have Jeremy Barnes and Eric Hinske been going with Baty that we see his ground ball and strikeout rates worsen to this extent?
Mostly, what has Buck Showalter done to help develop Baty? Put another way, why has Baty regressed under the tutelage of Showalter and his coaching staff?
Before the fire sale, Steve Cohen said he puts the blame for the season failures on the players and not the coaching staff or GM. Looking at Baty’s regression, it does appear the coaches have more than their fair share of the blame.
The fact Baty got worse requires a multi-faceted analysis. That analysis needs to start with what Syracuse did right and what Showalter and his coaches did wrong.