Cyclone alums earn top minor league awards
“Winning the Minor League Player of the Year for the Mets was always a goal of mine,” said Brett Baty to Cyclones bench coach Chris Newell. “It is a testament to all the hard work I have put in and shows what this organization thinks of my performance. I am blessed to have had some amazing coaches and teammates help me get to where I am today.”
The N.Y. Mets drafted Baty out of high school in the first round in 2019. The native of Austin, Texas, played on the Cyclones’ championship team that year.
After the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, Baty returned to Brooklyn in 2021. He was promoted to Double-A Binghamton and had a combined .292 average and 12 home runs for the season.
Baty spent much of this season in Binghamton, played six games for Triple-A Syracuse and joined the Mets in mid-August. In 75 minor league games, he hit .315 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs.
Baty made his Mets debut in Atlanta, replacing injured third baseman Eduardo Escobar. He hit a home run in his first at-bat in a 9-7 win during the tight pennant race. His season ended two weeks later due to a thumb injury.
“I didn’t realize when I signed to play professional baseball that I would go through so many ups and downs throughout a season,” Baty said. “For me, being able to stay positive through the tough times has gotten me to where I am today.”
Unlike Baty, who always had an award as a goal, Cyclones ace Dominic Hamel was surprised when he won Pitcher of the Year.
“I had no idea that I was in the running for that award,” said the 2021 third-round draft pick from Chandler, Az. “I’ve just been working on my game and I guess that this is one of the achievements that comes with that.”
Hamel had the most wins among Mets minor league pitchers. In 119 innings between Port St. Lucie and Brooklyn, he was 10-3 with 145 strikeouts. He came up to the Cyclones on July 4 and his 5-1 second-half record contributed to Brooklyn’s successful run to the playoffs. He also finished strong, striking out 17 batters in the last two games of the regular season.
“I like to work very quick to keep batters off balance,” Hamel said. “I’m trying to get every hitter out on four pitches. My goal is to get two early strikes on every batter and then go after them with either my fastball or slider.”
By mid-August, Hamel had made a name for himself by allowing either no runs or one run in six consecutive starts, prompting Coach Newell to say, “Watch this young man, you’ll be seeing him pitch in the major leagues some day.”
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