BRIDGEWATER – Had the trade deadline gone a little bit differently, the Somerset Patriots might have had an easier time in their most recent series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
The Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets came to TD Bank Ballpark for the first time and took four of six games this past week, largely on the backs of two of the organization’s top prospects, Ronny Mauricio and Brett Baty, the latter of whom was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday afternoon.
Mauricio is a 21-year-old, 6-foot-3, 166-pound shortstop who’s hitting .251 with a career-high 21 home runs and 68 RBI this season. He went 8-for-29 (.276) with three homers and 10 RBI in the series, but had been rumored to be included in several potential trades that ultimately never happened.
With Francisco Lindor locked in long-term at shortstop in Queens, Mauricio was believed to potentially be available in the right deal, but the Mets were ultimately largely quiet at the deadline, adding reliever Mychal Givens and slugger Darin Ruf without touching any of their top prospect pool.
“I knew my name was thrown out there a lot, but I’ve been calm and been normal,” Mauricio said through translator Adrian Texidor in a media session with reporters held earlier in the week at TD Bank Ballpark.
“It’s part of the game. I’ve tried to not lose focus and just keep playing.”
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The approach was similar for Baty, a third baseman who was the team’s 12th overall pick in 2019 and largely figures to be a big part of their future plans at the big-league level. The 22-year-old earned his promotion thanks to starting the year with a .312 batting average, 19 homers and 59 RBI – he stuck around just long enough to go 9-for-23 (.391) with three longballs and 10 RBI in Bridgewater this past week – and was far less likely to ever be traded, although his name was the subject of various rumors as well as the deadline ultimately came and went.
“That’s always a thought in your head, but you’ve just got to come out here and play every single game like you’re going to be a Rumble Pony for the rest of the year,” Baty said. “We were keeping track of it in the locker room, but luckily nothing happened, so I’m going to stay put and enjoy the rest of the year.”
Binghamton manager Reid Brignac, a longtime big-leaguer as a player who suited up for six different clubs over nine MLB seasons, is plenty familiar with the pressures of potentially being moved around. He had the proper approach for managing his players who were dealing with the outside noise of hearing their names in trade rumors.
“I didn’t want to add to it,” he said. “There’s already a lot of outside noise. In today’s world, with social media, there’s people who can put their opinions on anything and throw their names around with this and that. In my history of playing, what I’ve noticed is most of the time is the rumors you hear are not the actual trades. It’s normally kept between (general managers), and not a whole lot leaks out until it happens. For them, they were just going to work every day and doing their jobs. To see them come out and perform over this last week with that cloud hanging around them, it showed a lot of maturity on both of their levels.”
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Mets prospects Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty excel amid trade rumors