Already at spring training, Mets prospect Brett Baty spent part of offseason working on defense with Troy Tulowitzki

Brett Baty
Brett Baty / Brett Davis - USA TODAY Sports

Mets third base prospect Brett Baty, who is already at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., spent part of the offseason working on his defense with former big league star Troy Tulowitzki, who won two Gold Gloves at shortstop during his career and was one of the smoothest defenders in baseball in his prime.

Speaking to Will Sammon of The Athletic, Baty said he got blunt advice from Tulowitzki.

"He’s not going to beat around the bush about anything and he’s not going to sugarcoat anything," Baty told The Athletic. "If he doesn’t see something he thinks will play at the next level, he will tell you straight up.

"And I love that in people. I don’t really like people who are just there to tell you how good you are, tell you how good you look and stuff like that. I like the people that are actually going to be honest with you, and help you get better."

Tulowitzki said Baty still needs to improve at third base, but believes it will simply come down to more reps.

"He needs to get better over there," Tulowitzki told The Athletic. "But some people need to get better because they aren’t athletic enough or don’t have arm strength. He’s got all the tools. He just needs some reps."

Most evaluators believe Baty can stick at third base, but he has also gotten some exposure in left field the last two seasons in the minors.

Keith Law of The Athletic recently wrote that "Baty is big for [a] third baseman but a solid athlete who’s worked hard on his defense, which is more than just playable there."

Baty, 23, got a brief taste of the majors in 2022 and could make an impact for the Mets at the big league level early this season. But it's not clear how much of a chance he'll get to crack the roster from the jump.

The Mets have Eduardo Escobar as their main third base option not named Baty, but the switch-hitting Escobar struggled badly against right-handers last season. Meanwhile, Baty has crushed right-handers (and also hit well against lefties) during his minor league career.

In his recent writeup of Baty, Law said the Mets should "give him 500 at-bats this year" in the majors, opining that "there's nothing left for him to learn in the minors."

We'll find out soon if the Mets agree.