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That's because for the first time in over a year, Baty will be playing minor league ball against different teams for the Brooklyn Cyclones, who are now the Mets' High-A classification in their farm system. They kick off their season on May 4.
“I’m really excited, especially after last season just not being able to play," Baty told reporters via Zoom on Thursday. "I know I was at the Alternate Site and got to go to instructs for a little while, but just the level of competition — we’ve gotten some games down here already and just playing in a different uniform has been amazing and it brings out the competitive juices in everybody. It just a lot of fun, so I’m really excited to get going.”
Being a top prospect in the organization does come with some perks, especially last season when the minor league was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Baty was still able to continue developing at the Alternate Site in Brooklyn, and when spring training came around, he was at big league camp working with guys like Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis.
But with games about to start up again, Baty knows that seeing different pitchers for the first time in a while may need some getting used to.
"Probably just the level of pitching," he said when asked about what will be the toughest challenge this season. "I saw a pretty high level of pitching as you know in big league camp. But definitely just the constant, high level of pitching is going to be tough. Just got to stay within myself and do what I do.”
Cyclones head coach Ed Blankmeyer has been impressed with guys like Baty and RHP Matt Allan, as both highly regarded minor leaguers have been showcasing a great work ethic on and off the field. So when Baty says "stay within myself and do what I do," Blankmeyer knows it's putting in work whenever he can.
"He’s talented. He’s got big league pedigree," Blankmeyer said. "But what I’m very impressed with Bret is how he goes about his work. He’s always striving to get better. He always finds time to do the things he needs to do to get better."
Baty will have a big spotlight on him this season, and frankly for seasons to come, too. When you're a first-round pick, it comes with the territory.
But he's ready to finally get back to good competition and a real season, as his professional journey can get back on track.