After various injuries and disappointments, the New York Mets have finally called up third base prospect Mark Vientos to the major league roster. Drafted in 2016, the 22-year-old worked his way through the minor leagues and was in the midst of a great season, sporting a triple slash of .258/.358/.519 at Triple-A Syracuse, before his arrival to Queens.
And honestly? The Mets waited way too long for this move. The additions of Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach gave New York options at DH, but didn’t solidify the position, nor did it solve New York’s power woes in the middle of the order.
Eduardo Escobar’s injury resulted in fellow third base prospect Brett Baty joining the Mets, but Baty struggled and went down with an injury. Similar to the way the Atlanta Braves called up their top two prospects, Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom, the Mets could've called Baty and Vientos up and used both between third base, first base, and the designated hitter position.
Instead, the Mets waited and Vientos is up and the question lingers: What does the future hold for Vientos? While he was held in high regard, there might be an argument for Vientos to be a key trade piece in the very near future for the Mets.
Wil the Mets trade Mark Vientos or does he have a future with them?
Before completely shipping him out, there needs to be an understanding of what Vientos is. So far, throughout his minor league career, Vientos has been an effective power bat, sporing an isolated power mark above .250 over the last three seasons. In a league lacking power and now 30 DH spots thanks to the expansion of the designated hitter to the national league, someone would love to have a chance to unearth a potential 30-home run player.
But the other questions and concerns lie in the rest of Vientos’ profile. Vientos largely plays against righties with modest numbers against left-handed pitching. We also don’t know what position he’ll play at the next level, leading to the thought that he is a DH. Per Clay Davenport’s metrics, Vientos has been a negative defender at third, suggesting a move across the diamond would be the best bet.
And for the Mets, those areas seem crowded.
First base is Pete Alonso’s spot and should continue to be so. Third base has seen a healthy combination of Escobar, Baty, and Luis Guillorme this season and DH has the aforementioned Vogelbach and Ruf, both under contract for next season, with an eye on a potential upgrade in the offseason.
Much like Dom Smith before him, Vientos finds himself in need of at-bats, but the Mets are in a different space. Between Baty, Guillorme, and Escobar at third and Alonso at first; Vientos best impacts the Mets as a trade piece for another contributor on the main roster.
Due to recent trades from previous regimes, the Mets are risk-averse in terms of moving their top prospects, even avoiding moving players at this past trade deadline. With good reason, New York’s farm system is top-heavy, so any deal would push them back further and create a stable system they could lean on for talent.
However, New York has also shown the willingness to make moves for impact players, looking at the Chris Bassitt trade as evidence. As an individual piece, that would be the best case scenario for a Vientos deal; acquiring a good bat or a mid-rotation starter in return.
But for a bigger name? Vientos looks like a second or third piece in a deal. If the Mets want to secure someone like Boston’s Rafael Devers to give Pete Alonso some more protection in the order, or, go after the big fish in Anaheim’s Shohei Ohtani if he were to hit the market, Vientos feels like a fine tertiary to offer a young, inexpensive power hitter down the road.
The New York Mets have several talented players on the roster and a farm system that’s beginning to bare fruit on the position player side. One player is Mark Vientos, who has mashed his way up to Queens and despite a slow start in his first cup of coffee in the majors, has a bright future ahead of him.
However, is that future with the Mets? With several options at first and third base, Vientos feels slotted in as primarily a DH who can take some backup games at first base. For a team with several free agents and a need to acquire more top-end talent, Vientos makes more sense as a key chip in a large trade this winter, more than a depth option for a spot in New York’s lineup.