Mets Minors: Mark Vientos and the resurgent farm system

Baseball America ranked the Mets as having the 27th best farm system in baseball at the start of the season. Fast forwarding to today and you’ll see the Mets ranked 19th. How did the Mets rocket through the rankings to go up 8 positions between April and July? Quite a lot. Frankly, the argument could be made that the new 19th best ranking might still be a bit tepid given how well a great number of Mets have done compared to their expectations.

One such player with mediocre expectations was Mark Vientos. The 18 year old prospect from Pembroke Pines, FL was drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 2017 Amateur Draft. 2nd round picks aren’t exactly overlooked but most fans, not named Brian Joura, pay more attention to the first rounder their team grabs.

The high school shortstop was immediately converted to third (likely thanks to his size: 6’4”) and produced acceptable numbers between the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues (.715 OPS) for a 17 year old prospect. He returned to Kingsport in 2018 and has not only found his footing but has started to make Brian’s prospect ranking look less crazy.

Looking at his splits:

Month BA OBP SLG BB K
June 7 Games .258 .343 .419 4 5
July 25 Games .274 .346 .516 10 16
August 9 Games .438 .514 .656 5 6

The first thing that jumps out is his astronomically good showing in the month of August. Those numbers speak to a streak that started in July of “Off the Charts” hitting that we can only hope isn’t a mirage. The stats I want you to focus on, though, is the walks and strikeouts. Considering the number of games played, Vientos has managed a sparkling command of the strike zone, not only walking more than most young hitters but also striking out far less. Compare his numbers to that of Shervyen Newton.

Additionally, while we see a definite spike in batting average at the end of July, his power and on base numbers maintain a certain proportionality that suggests his power is definitely not smoke and mirrors either.

In our podcast, Brian asked me if I thought that the Mets might promote Vientos to end his season in Brooklyn but the more important thing is if the Mets will allow him to play in full season ball with the Columbia Fireflies in 2019. Here is hoping that they are.

AAA:

Peter Alonso knocking on the door – While I don’t think the Mets want to promote him to the majors before the end of the season nobody seems to have sent Alonso the memo. (Last 10 Games: .400 BA, 5 HR, and 15 RBI… he also has 13 K)

What can be done with Dominic Smith? – The question now, after a terrible season, is will Smith have any future with the Mets. He needs a new position in a hurry and he needs to start to actually hit the ball in AAA. (Last 10 Games: .220 BA with 12 K)

Nabil Crismatt is a 6th man candidate for 2019 – Vegas is going to be hard to any pitcher who isn’t a high K pitcher (ask P.J. Conlon) but Crismatt is finding some success and should be on the depth charts for 2019. (Last Start: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB and 7 K)

AA:

Andres Gimenez has had a great year that we don’t talk about enough – Why aren’t we shouting from the rooftops about a 19 year old prospect hitting a .802 OPS in AA? Why? (Last 10 Games: .316 BA)

Will Toffey has looked great as a Met – While he isn’t a “Blue Chip” guy, Toffey has managed a .918 OPS since joining the Mets. (Last 10 Games: 13 Walks with a .310 BA)

Justin Dunn’s renaissance continues – Another week and another good outing for a prospect whose stock should be back where it used to be. (Last Start: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB and 8 K)

Franklyn Kilome shows us some power – He’s not a perfect prospect but I’m going to bet that the Phillies regret sending him to the Mets someday in the future. (Last Start: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB and 10 K)

A+:

Anthony Kay and David Peterson need more time – Nothing approaches how bad Justin Dunn was in Advanced A in 2017 but both pitchers look to need more time. Though Peterson’s last start was a doozy. (Last Start Kay: 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 1 BB and 7K. Last Start Peterson: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER and 9 K)

A:

What will Hansel Moreno become – While nobody in Columbia is hitting much, Moreno’s .705 OPS is actually pretty good. He’s a very athletic kid with a goodly amount of potential. (He hit a home run last night)

A-:

Jaison Vilera is a legitimate prospect – He seems to be doing a pretty good Jacob deGrom impression with an ERA of 1.30 on the year. (Last Start: 5.0 IP and 0 ER)

Meet Christian James – After filling in at Advanced and AA, James has settled in nicely in Brooklyn. (Last Start: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB and 6 K)

Should we be excited about Wagner Lagrange? – He’s a little bit older than other Brooklyn prospects but he’s making it count with a better eye and solid production. (Last 10 Games: .278 BA with 7 BB and 7 K)

Walter Rasquin has been great since his suspension – Most of us will be a little shy about a guy who was suspended but his results since coming back are great. (Last 10 Games: .400 BA with 4 BB and 4 K)

R2:

Jarred Kelenic has shaken off his slump – It’s only the last 5 games or so but his strikeout numbers are back under control. (Last 10 Games: .283 BA, with 2 BB and 6 K)

Luis Santana’s quietly excellent season – Am I making too much about a 5’8” middle infielder in Rookie ball? Probably. Don’t care. (Last 10 Games: .293 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K and 3 SB)

DSL:

Felix Valerio looks like a prototypical speedy shortstop – He’s tiny, quick and great at getting on base. (Last 10 Games: .395 BA, 5 BB, 3 K and 3 SB)

Andres Regnault has had a breakout hitting season for the DSL – After two ho-hum seasons in the DSL he’s boasting a .985 OPS as a 19 year old catcher. (Last 10 Games: .353 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K and 2 SB)

Adrian Hernandez is showing some speed and power – He’s forgotten, a bit, after Ronny Mauricio but Hernandez has put together a fine season in the DSL for his minor league debut. (Last 10 Games: .389 BA, 3 HR, 4 BB, 7 K and 1 SB)

Jefferson Escorcha might be have an MLB future – While a bit small for a starting pitcher, Escorcha’s numbers speak for themselves. (On the Year: 46.2 IP, 11 BB, 56 K, and a 0.71 WHIP)

9 comments for “Mets Minors: Mark Vientos and the resurgent farm system

  1. David Groveman
    August 13, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Since compiling the Vientos stats:

    12 AB, 4 Hits, 1 HR, 4 BB, 1 K

  2. TexasGusCC
    August 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    David, I waited for your column today to tell you that your crazy prediction on the podcast was more frightful than most Halloween pranks, not really crazy.

    With control being all the craze, you expect the new Mets GM to give up 7 years of control in Alonso to keep one year and and a half of Cespedes? I doubt it highly. Plus, I feel that Alonso is in the running for their #1 prospect because he’s a difference maker. Giminez is nice and all with a shiny OPS, but Alonzo’s strengths “put fannies in the seats” which appeals to you know who.

    Plus, with Cespedes becoming a free agent after that, think he won’t want to show that he’s still an outfield stud? First base isn’t quite as profitable.

    • David Groveman
      August 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      You know that I don’t want my prediction to be true, right?

      • TexasGusCC
        August 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        I know. No one does.

  3. Eraff
    August 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I’m gonna give them some benefit of doubt on Alonzo…I believe Promoting him Now would set his spot on the 40 man roster, and they may want to save that slot for players in the system or who may be acquired in trade….even though I can’t remove my doubt that they’re managing future years.

    Vientos—do you need to be an absolute Mets Prospect Geek to have held excitement for Vientos’s 2018 season???

    • David Groveman
      August 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Being a Met Prospect Geek is not required but we certainly recommend it.

      • TexasGusCC
        August 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        +1

  4. August 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I’ve been very impressed by Riley Gilliam, our 5the rd draft pick and closer for Bkln. Can you tell me what he throws?

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