Garrett Wilson, Brett Baty, NY Jets, NY Mets
Garrett Wilson, Brett Baty, New York Jets, New York Mets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

The fresh-faced Mets prospect and rookie Jets receiver have more than New York athletics in common

Welcome to New York sports, rooks!

The New York Mets called up their No. 2 prospect, third baseman Brett Baty, for Wednesday’s game against their divisional rival and pursuer, the Atlanta Braves.

Baty promptly fulfilled the stuff of every kid’s dreams by hitting a two-run home run in his first Major League at-bat. His parents, sister, and various relatives screamed and jumped in elation as the ball sailed out of Truist Park.

Surprisingly, the fresh-faced 22-year-old rookie grew up together with another newbie New York athlete: the New York Jets’ No. 10 overall pick, wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

Baty and Wilson were football teammates beginning on a Pop Warner team in sixth grade, when Wilson moved to Texas. According to Wilson, Baty’s cannon arm at quarterback caused him to switch positions from QB to receiver. The Jets are obviously happy about that one.

“It’s a funny story,” Baty says, via SNY. “Our coach had no idea. It was a random name in the draft. But even in sixth grade, Garrett was still, head and shoulders, the best athlete I ever saw or played with. We had a great football season together. On third down, I’d throw it up to him.”

Baty was the Mets’ first-round pick in 2019, coming to Flushing at No. 12 overall. He has risen through the ranks with his big bat leading the way, earning a promotion to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate just last week. He is ranked the 19th-best prospect in all of baseball. Now he has the chance to showcase his skills at the big-league level in the middle of a playoff push.

Meanwhile, Wilson was considered by many the top wide receiver prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Baty was following Wilson to see where he’d end up. Baty was in the middle of a game at Double-A, but, he says, “I’m coming in every inning asking, ‘What do we got?’ He went 10th to the Jets and we started high-fiving.”

Wilson and Baty plan to hook up at each other’s games. Though Wilson has followed the Mets in the past, Baty has never been a Jets fan. Still, he discovered that there is a lot of crossover between Mets and Jets fans and plans to join the athletes who have attended each other’s games.

New York can be a tough place to play and is not always kind to rookies. Still, Baty is batting eighth in the Mets’ order and is not expected to be more than a stopgap while the team’s injured third basemen recover. Wilson is expected to contribute at receiver for the Jets, but with other options such as Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Braxton Berrios on board, he can relax and learn his craft without the level of pressure that normally accompanies the No. 10 overall pick.

The two friends from Texas have come a long way. Now it’s time for them to establish themselves in New York for fans rooting for and willing them to succeed.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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