Mark Vientos may not be the first third base prospect you think of in the New York Mets minor league system, but this year he is certainly making a case that his bat is one of the best the organization has. Through 179 plate appearances, the 21-year-old former second-round pick has smashed 13 home runs and driven in 36.
Vientos has done more than swing for the fences. Slashing .283/.352/.597 over this span, he is developing into quite the well-rounded hitter.
In a minor (no pun intended) battle with Brett Baty for third base prospect supremacy, Vientos is making a strong case. Already preparing the possibility that they end up with two awesome third base options in the not too distance future, like Baty, Vientos is also playing a few different positions this year.
The Mets are seeing what they can possibly do to keep Mark Vientos and Brett Baty on a major league path
Baty has seen some action in left field this season as has Vientos. In addition to taking a few steps back from third base, Vientos has ventured across the diamond to play some first. From almost the beginning of his professional career, a position change seemed to be in Vientos’ future. He owns a career fielding percentage (I can hear the stat geeks groaning from here) just a well-trimmed nose hair above .900.
Just as Vientos has had a great ability to clobbering home runs this year, he has been equally as successful making errors at the hot corner.
Vientos has, in my opinion, been one of the Mets’ most intriguing trade chips since at least the time they drafted Baty. Unless you’re playing company softball, a pair of third basemen cannot coexist.
The franchise can certainly get away with one of these guys eventually making it to the outfield. The need for the DH in the National League strikes again! Pete Alonso could become the full-time DH and allow Dominic Smith to move to first base. Things could fall in line for Baty to proceed at third base and Vientos become the hot young outfield prospect the Mets have in mind for left field.
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Fortunately, time is on our side. Vientos and Baty are both incredibly young and could take a full year to develop at any new position they may need to learn. What’s important right now is that they hit. Neither will probably ever develop into an exceptional defender anyway. Why not make the most—and enjoy—the things do they do well?