The New York Mets recently called up third base prospect Mark Vientos to Triple-A. So we’re begging the questions about how the Mets could actually use him.
Like every practical baseball scenario, the Mets have what seems like twenty different options here. This week, we’ve already gone over the pain of having to make some hard decisions between two third base prospects: Brett Baty and Mark Vientos.
In Double-A this year, Vientos was slashing .281/.346/.411 for Binghamton. Brett Baty is slashing .291/.378/.471 for Brooklyn and Binghamton this year (as of Wednesday). Both prospects were early-round picks — Baty taken in the first round of the 2019 draft out of the University of Texas, Vientos taken in the second round in 2017 out of high school.
With Vientos’ recent call-up, where can the Mets put him?
The Mets were able to forge selling the farm for players this season, only acquiring Rich Hill (who may just retire) and Javier Báez. So the Mets need to make a choice: do they sell Vientos and get a better prospect at a stronger position?
If Vientos is that good, they need to keep him. If they want to take that risk on trading prospects for prospects, so be it. But that return better pan out for them or the front office is going to look real silly.
One option for Vientos is actually as the Designated Hitter, once it’s implemented, because let’s be honest, it’s coming.
Is it a fool-proof option? Of course not, but what is? In a recent Rising Apple story, we covered the universal DH and the Mets‘ options. There are about a thousand of them, it seems, so it’s hard to pinpoint one obvious thing the Mets could do. But at least they have the luxury of flexibility this offseason.
Re-signing Báez and keeping him at second is an option, they could put McNeil at third base until Brett Baty sees MLB time, then move him to left field once Baty is a full-time big-leaguer, which may be mid-2022 or later. This offseason, I think the Mets should sell JD Davis to an AL team who can use him as DH. This would also buy the team time to figure out what they want to do to improve their outfield defense, by moving Dom Smith once this third base situation is finalized.
This scenario might be best for the Mets, though it’s one of plenty. It would best open up the Mets to improve their outfield defense, buy them the most time to stabilize the infield, and would give Vientos a strong future with the team.
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Soon, they need to commit. Vientos is definitely worth keeping in a DH role.