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The New York Mets have called up top third base prospect Brett Baty, the team announced Monday evening. Baty has been scorching hot in Triple-A, going 14 for 35 (.400) with five home runs in nine games since being demoted at the end of spring training. Outfielder Tim Locastro was placed on the 10-day injured list with back spasms in a corresponding move.

"It was a tough decision," Mets GM Billy Eppler told reporters after Baty was sent to Triple-A at the end of camp (per SNY). "...The coaching staff, the front office had a pretty long meeting, walked through a lot of different combinations and went around the room. And the consensus of the room was it was best served to have him start in Triple-A."

Baty, 23, slashed an impressive .325/.460/.425 this spring and certainly looked MLB ready. The Mets opted to give veteran Eduardo Escobar more time at third base to begin the season. Escobar, now 34, enters play Monday with a .125/.173/.229 batting line. He has been losing playing time to utility infielder Luis Guillorme in recent days.

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Baty the No. 25 prospect in baseball entering the season. Here's his write-up:

Baty, the 12th pick in the 2019 draft, reached the majors for the first time last season, but his stay was short-lived; he appeared in just 11 games before undergoing thumb surgery that ended his campaign in late August. Baty's path back to the Mets big-league lineup is less complicated without Carlos Correa in tow, but he's a potential above-average hitter who lifted the ball and slugged more during his stay last season in Double-A. In other words, he should find a lineup welcoming to his talents, be it in New York or elsewhere.

The Mets briefly called up Baty last August and he went 7 for 38 (.184) with eight strikeouts in 11 games. Power is Baty's calling card and New York is a bit short in the power department: Pete Alonso leads baseball with eight home runs and the rest of the Mets have 10 homers combined.

It should be noted that because he accrued 50 days of major-league service time last season, Baty did not spend enough time in the minors this year to delay his free agency or arbitration-eligibility. He would have had to remain in Triple-A until early June to push back his free agency.

The Mets enter play Monday with a 10-6 record and a plus-12 run differential. They are two games behind the NL East leading Atlanta Braves in the early going this season. New York opens a three-game road with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.