Top prospect Baty homers for Mets in 1st big league at-bat

ATLANTA (AP) - What a debut for Brett Baty!
The 22-year-old third baseman became the fifth player in New York Mets history to hit a homer in his first major league Wednesday night and fired a two-run shot to right field pitches against the Atlanta Braves.
First AB...HOME RUN for @baty_brett. #LGM
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 17, 2022
With a runner on board and the Mets already leading 2-0 in the second inning against back-to-back home runs in the opening frame, Baty took a ball from Jake Odorizzi before connecting with a hanging corner.
Ronald Acuña Jr. peeled off and attempted to play the ball to the right of the tall brick wall, but the 377-foot drive fell into the seats.
Baty's mother, father, sister and other relatives, who had flown in at short notice for the occasion, jumped from their seats in Truist Park. Baty was swarmed by his teammates in the dugout.
The last Mets player to make his major debut was Mike Jacobs on August 21, 2005 in Washington.
Baty, one of the Mets' top picks, batted eighth on his major league debut. He took over from Eduardo Escobar, who went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left slash.
Baty was called up to Syracuse's Triple-A club just a week after his promotion. Ahead of the game, he insisted he had no thoughts of moving up to the big leagues anytime soon.
"I didn't think about that at all," Baty said. "I was just thinking about winning ball games for Syracuse. But now I'm here, so it's about winning ball games for the New York Mets."
Escobar was dropped from the line-up for Tuesday's game after practicing on the field ahead of batting practice. Manager Buck Showalter said Escobar's injury had worsened and he didn't want to risk a long-term problem.
Baty, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 draft, hit a combined .315 with 19 homers and 60 RBIs for Double-A Binghamton and Syracuse.
His offensive numbers - especially his power - have improved a lot this season in the first two years in the minors.
"I don't have any expectations of myself," Baty said. “I'm just going to go out there and play to the best of my ability. I'm here for a reason. I will show it and do my best.”
Escobar went to the IL retroactive to Tuesday, paving the way for Baty to join the club.
Showalter had the chance to work with Baty in spring training. He challenged the Round Rock, Texas native a couple of times, eager to see how he would respond to what the manager shyly called "constructive criticism."
Baty passed this test.
"I trust the way I play baseball and I trust myself on the field," the rookie said. "They attacked me, but I kind of reacted."
Center fielder Brandon Nimmo pulled Baty aside after the team arrived at Truist Park. He knows the highly acclaimed player will face intense scrutiny as he joins a top-ranked team that has been trying to claim their Premier League title since 2015.
"Take me aside and he's like, 'Hey man, slow down. It's going to be quite a big atmosphere for sure. But we all trust you out there. We've got your back,'" Baty said. "That's what I wanted to hear."
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Brett Baty
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Jake Odorizzi

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