5 Mets players who will be the biggest X-factors in determining where this team goes

The performance of these five Mets will determine what the team does.
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports / Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
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4) Mark Vientos

This is where Mark Vientos becomes important. If Vientos wasn’t doing so well, the Mets would have time to add at third base. They’re certainly not going to turn to Brett Baty again so quickly. He had his chance. A strong showing by Vientos is important in many of the same ways as Alvarez.

The lengthening of the Mets lineup is the first place where Vientos’ impact can be seen. Whether hitting fifth, sixth, or seventh, they benefit greatly from not having an automatic out from the third base position.

Vientos hasn’t been a butcher at third base either. Those questions about his defense can be brushed aside. His bat is far too valuable to sweat over his reputation as a defensive liability. Not everyone can win a Gold Glove. And as we’ve discovered this year, even those known for their defense can become a problem.

Vientos saves the Mets from having to go out and get another third baseman. It’s a position where you want some production offensively from and the kid has offered up plenty of it thus far. Growing into more than a guy who hits the ball and occasionally launches it far has made the Mets a more legitimate team. The Mets don’t have half a lineup thanks to the performance by Vientos whose continued success will allow the Mets to focus on improvements to the pitching staff and not the offense.