2017: Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos
To date, only one Mets draft choice from 2017 has made it to the major leagues. That would be first round pick David Peterson, who quickly emerged as a solid left-handed starter in 2020 before struggling in 2021, both in terms of performance and avoiding injury.
Two other names from that year – one from the draft and another international signing – could debut with the Mets as early as this season. The key questions for both, however, are where they would play and if they’d even take the field in a Mets uniform.
Mark Vientos, whom the Mets selected out of high school in the second round, spent his first two professional seasons at Rookie level in Kingsport before climbing up the farm system. The 6’4’’ third baseman played most of 2021 at Double-A Binghamton before moving up to Triple-A Syracuse late in the year on the strength of a breakout power season – 25 home runs and 43 extra-base hits across only 310 total at-bats after just 27 home runs in his first three minor league seasons combined.
The Mets’ big splash internationally that year was Ronny Mauricio, a 17-year-old shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. Like Vientos, Mauricio’s climb up the system has been slow given his age, but his potential has been consistently recognized, ranking in the top 100 of both Major League Baseball’s and Baseball America’s annual prospect lists each of the past two years. His 2021 season with High-A Brooklyn wasn’t particularly noteworthy on paper (.242/.291/.449 slash line), but he did earn a promotion to Binghamton and, per scouts, has continued impressing with his athleticism.
The biggest roadblocks for both pertain to each one’s primary position. Mauricio is likely not the Mets’ shortstop of the future with Francisco Lindor under contract for the next decade, but at 6’3” with a strong arm, could find a home at third base or the outfield, where he’s played some games in the minors. Vientos, meanwhile, has competition to landing the third base job in the form of another big-time prospect in the Mets’ system (more on him later), which could ultimately make Vientos expendable. Regardless, both are high value prospects who could help in some way soon.