How great is it to have two third base prospects at the level of Brett Baty and Mark Vientos? The New York Mets should consider themselves lucky. The only thing that would make this situation even better is if there were two third bases in the game.
Unfortunately, no base repeats around the diamond. The Mets are now left with a pair of third base prospects with electric bats and an uncertain yet promising future.
Something has to give. The Mets can’t have both of them playing third base in the future, can they?
The Mets have to make a big decision about Brett Baty and Mark Vientos
Baty has a clear advantage at the moment. A first-round pick ranked among the best 100 prospects in the entire game, it doesn’t make much sense to dismiss him whatsoever.
That’s not to steal away anything from Vientos. Another brilliant hitter possibly even closer to making his MLB debut, Vientos is the right-handed answer to Baty’s left-handed question.
The Mets have already begun the process of trying to find a way to move forward with both of these men. Baty has seen time in left field with Vientos playing a few other positions. Along with third base and left field, he has also moved across the diamond for some first base duties. It’s probably not where he’ll dig his heels into for long—at least not if he remains with the Mets.
There is a way for the Mets to keep both of these highly-touted prospects and it involves a permanent position change for one of them. Vientos has been a poor third base defender throughout his professional career dating back to 2017. It’s easy to move him off the hot corner and maybe try to hide him in left field.
In fewer chances, Baty has also had the occasional rough streak at third base. I’m not sure anyone can say one is better or worse than the other.
Do the Mets actually have a real third base prospect?
How about this; what if the Mets don’t have any third base prospect at all? What if Baty and Vientos both end up playing at a different spot?
The J.D. Davis adventure at third base over the last few years should have the front office questioning what the answer is at the position. Jeff McNeil hasn’t been so good there either. While it’s not a death blow to any team to have a butcher on the corner, it doesn’t do the win column any favors.
I’m the kind of person who likes to see a mission through rather than change things up regularly. Rather than experiment with Baty and Vientos at multiple positions, I would prefer to see the Mets stick with one at third base and another somewhere else. This doesn’t mean they can’t still move around the field but the primary goal should be to have a goal of developing the player’s glove so we don’t have a problem in the future.
Then there’s one other option. What if the Mets simply take advantage of the hype and trade one of the two?
I’ve thought for a good year that Vientos would get traded because of Baty’s quick rise. However, his big year at Double-A in 2021 may have the front office thinking otherwise. What if they trade him and Baty becomes average while Vientos grows into a superstar?
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When talking sports, we often refer to a surplus as a team having a “good problem.” True in some ways, depth at one position often means a hole somewhere else. If the Mets could possibly flip one for a player of equal value who knows how to play a different position, it might help solve any internal debate.