Dynasty BaseballTriple Play

TDG’S Triple Play: New York Mets!

The Triple Play is back for a sixth season! This regular feature is broken down by senior writer Phil Barrington and he is joined by a rotating panel of some of the best Dynasty Baseball writers in the business. If you’re new to the Triple Play, this series breaks down an arm, a bat, and a prospect within each organization for your reading pleasure!

This week I (@barrington_phil) am joined by Greg Hoogkamp (@GregHoogkamp) and Ben Sanders (@HPBenSanders) follow us on Twitter and send us any questions, feedback, disagreements, what have yous, in the comments.

Brett Baty, Age: 23, Position: 3B

Analysis by:Greg Hoogkamp

“Blue Skies”

“The Mets third baseman of the future” is how Brett Baty has been labeled over the course of his young career. He was a first round selection by the New York Mets (12th overall) in the 2019 amateur draft out of Lake Travis High School in Round Rock Texas and has ascended the system by dominating at each stop. He’s been ranked as at least a top-4 Mets prospect by MLB Pipeline since 2020 before graduating as a prospect this season. 

“Always on My Mind”

In his draft year, he played at three levels (two rookie levels and Low-A) and posted excellent wRC+ scores of 115, 181 and 214. In 2021 (after the lost 2020 season), the Mets started Baty in High-A where he carried on with his success putting up a 144 wRC+ and he was ultimately promoted to Double-A (118 wRC+) for the conclusion of the season. He started 2022 in Double-A and slugged 19 HR in 394 plate appearances (160 wRC+) earning a promotion to Triple-A. He was given just six games in Triple-A before he received a call to the majors. Baty hit a home run in his first major league at bat on August 17th, 2022 and many thought he was off and running to a successful major league career. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way and there are starting to be whispers as to whether Baty will be a regular on the next great Mets team. His first stint in the majors was cut short due to a UCL tear in his right thumb; he played just 11 games before the injury occurred and missed the rest of the season.

“On the Road Again”

Baty did not make the Mets out of spring training this year and started the season in Triple-A. He hit 5 HR in his first 9 games in Syracuse and was called up on April 17th. In 311 major league plate appearances this season, he has struggled to a .216/.289/.331 line with just 7 HR and an 8.6 BB% and 27.6 K%. For context, his minor league slash line was .293/.394/.508 with a 12.7 BB% and 25.6 K%. On August 7th he was demoted to Triple-A due to his struggles. Baty is an average defender at third (there are reports he could change positions) and an average to below average runner. 

“Stay a little longer”

How should Baty be valued for dynasty leagues at this point? Is he a buy-low candidate? I think the Mets clearly still see Baty as a key piece of their future. He has a decent plate approach posting double digit walk rates throughout the minors and his contact and chase rates are adequate. He also hits the ball very hard; he has a 113 mph max exit velocity this season (89th percentile) and a 44.0 HH% (69th percentile). There are two areas where Baty has struggled this season. The first, is the angle of his batted balls. His launch angle is just 5.7%, mostly attributed to a 51.8 GB% and just a 19.7 FB%; this batted ball distribution is wasting a lot of his hard contact and killing his batting average. The second, is his inability to hit breaking balls and offspeed pitches. He has a wOBA of .222 vs breaking balls and .237 vs off speed pitches. He will need to make adjustments in the minor leagues in order to improve in these two areas. Baty is still a very talented young player with lots of time to figure things out. The Mets are looking to 2025 and beyond now to compete at the highest level, so there isn’t a rush to get him fixed at this point. His perceived value has dropped and it might be an opportunity to buy if you have a place to stash him. 

Kodai Senga, Age: 30, Position: SP

Analysis by: Ben Sanders

Senga’s Genesis

Kodai Senga is off to an interesting start to his MLB career. An ace in Japan, he signed a 5-year, $75 million deal with the Mets this offseason. He’s been one of the few Mets not to disappoint so far, with a 3.24 ERA and 28.4% K-rate. With Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer getting shipped out at the trade deadline, he’s now the team’s de facto ace. His command hasn’t been very reliable, leading to an 11.4% BB-rate and 1.30 WHIP. That was often an issue for him in NPB as well, although not quite to the same extent. The most encouraging thing is that his stuff has translated well to MLB, and he’s already got a couple of 12-strikeout games on his resume.

What the Fork?

Senga throws six pitches. Five of them are not particularly great or interesting. His “ghost forkball,” however, is one of the best pitches in baseball. Some call it a splitter, but by any name it’s unhittable. It has a ridiculous 58.6% whiff rate and .139 batting average against. Even when batters make contact, it rarely goes far – he’s given up just three extra-base hits off it all season, all doubles.

Senga only throws his forkball 23.2% of the time. He throws it more to lefties than righties, which is probably why he has inverse platoon splits (.256 wOBA vs. L, .325 vs. R). It seems like increasing the usage of his best pitch would be an easy way to improve. That may be true, but the issue is that hitters don’t like to swing at the ghost fork. To get them chasing, Senga must get ahead in the count first, and that’s why improving his command is so critical to his success.

Gaus and Effect

Senga may be 30, but he’s still a rookie getting used to life in a new league in a foreign country. His command has improved as the season has progressed, and in July and August he has a 28.3% K-rate, 7.6% BB-rate, and 2.57 ERA. A natural comparison is splitter-throwing ace Kevin Gausman, and Senga has that kind of ceiling.

Sure, there are risks. Senga probably won’t reach Gausman’s level of command, and his walks could spiral out of control. His arm has plenty of mileage on it from his time in Japan, so injuries and aging are potential dangers as well. However, all starting pitchers seem hard to trust these days. Look at TDG’s preseason top ten. Shane McClanahan, Brandon Woodruff and Jacob deGrom are injured. Corbin Burnes, Sandy Alcantara, Aaron Nola, Dylan Cease have all been disappointing, and Alek Manoah was an absolute disaster to start the year. Only Gerrit Cole and Spencer Strider have performed up to expectations. Senga has shown enough flashes of brilliance that I’d rank him comfortably in the top-40 dynasty starters going forward.

Nick Morabito, Age: 20, Position: OF, Level: Single-A

Analysis by: Phil Barrington

For a Few Dollars More

Nicholas Anthony Morabito was drafted by the Mets with the 75th overall pick in the 2022 draft and signed for an over-slot value of $1 million. Mlb.com had him ranked 91st overall going into the draft. After attending Gonzaga High School in Washington DC, the Virginia native dropped a bit because he was 19 when drafted and he has a “projectionless” body (I never read that before and had to quote it from Fangraphs draft recap). The muscular 5’11, 185lb high school shortstop moved immediately to Center Field to start his professional career. He played in six games at the Complex in 2022, and started there again in 2023; lasting only 30 games until his recent promotion to Single-A St. Lucie on August 1st.

Coming Back for More

While still pretty far off, Morabito has started his first full professional season on a good note, slashing .326/.427/.439 with a couple homers and 11 steals in 132 at-bats. He has hits in all five of his Single-A games, with a three-hit performance on August 6th. Morabito has speed, some power, and a future grade (by mlb.com) of 45 at present. He’s been playing center field as he has the speed for it, but not the arm, so he will have to hit if he’s going to make the majors.

I want More, More, More!

Another One-Percenter rostered on Fantrax, it is highly likely Morabito’s available in your league. Mlb.com has him as the Mets #18 prospect, and on Fangraphs list he’s only an honorable mention (they ranked 37 total prospects). I could easily see him making top-250 lists and at worst top-500 prospect lists this off-season if he finishes the season as strong as he’s started it. If you’re making end of season moves (which I recommend because there are always prospects that slip through the cracks at the end of the year) consider Morabito.

The Author

Phil Barrington

Phil Barrington

Fantasy player since 1999, specializing in OPS leagues. Accountant by day, fantasy writer by night. Spreadsheets are life.

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