Born in Florida, Mark Vientos allegedly grew up rooting for the New York Mets. He spent his first three years of high school at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. In 2016, as a junior, he hit .321. That summer, he played in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park.
He transferred to American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida for his senior year in 2017. There, he hit .417 over 26 games. After the season, he was selected by the New York Mets in the second round (59th overall) of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft. Vientos was a shortstop in high school but was drafted under the (ultimately correct) assumption that he would have to shift out of this position.
His debut season of 2017 was spent between the GCL and APP organizations where his numbers were solid but did not jump off the page. He maintained an OPS above .700 and established himself as a viable middle of the order hitter at the levels at which he was playing.
In 2018 he was given a full development season in Kingsport and saw hit production benefit greatly as his OPS jumped up to .878. Interestingly his hit tool outshone his power tool at this point in his development. He had a nice manageable strikeout rate and looked to be a blossoming all-around hitter.
He then experienced the growing pains many met power hitters felt as he was sent to the pitcher friendly SAL in 2019. Again, his numbers fell to the realm of acceptable rather than exemplary. It was also 2019 when his overall numbers shifted from contact to power with an increase in SLG and a decrease in OBP (combined with more strikeouts per game).
Whatever Mark Vientos did during the lost year in 2020 worked as he showed up in 2021 and absolutely smashed through AA on his way to AAA. His OPS in 2021 was an outrageously good .933 between the two levels.
Last year Vientos started in AAA slowly before finding his footing and putting together a solid overall season. With the Mets failing to get production from JD Davis and Dominic Smith the Mets chose not to bring up their minor league masher to help the team at DH and instead brought in RHP specialist Daniel Vogelbach and LHP specialist Darin Ruf. Ruf proved so poor in this role that the Mets would bring up Vientos anyway but he was never afforded the time to find his footing in the role.
Vientos once appeared to be a player capable of hitting over .300 but he seems like his power tools have won over his contact ones. He still seems to level off around a .280 batting average which might take a further dip at the major league level but shouldn’t dip lower than .260 given a full season.
Pete Alonso has the edge over Vientos for power but it’s closer than you might think. Mark Vientos could be a 40 HR threat if he finds his footing in the major leagues. He has shown particularly good numbers against left handed pitching but hasn’t been terrible against righties either.
Nothing to speak of. The good news is that he’s a better runner than Pete Alonso for sure.
Fielding, unfortunately, is the weakest part of Vientos’ game. His .908 fielding percentage at third base in the minors is not promising and while he has a 1.000 fielding percentage in left field this is partially caused by a lack of mobility in the outfield. This means that Vientos profiles as pretty much only a designated hitter.
If the Mets want to bring back Vogelbach and give him 50% of the starts at DH (all of them coming against righties) and give Vientos the other half (regardless of pitcher) then it might make sense for him to stay in the majors. Multiple times in this article I’ve talked about finding his footing in the majors. Vientos has shown a need to settle in at each new level he’s been assigned and the Mets did not afford him this in their desperation move of 2022. Vientos cannot get this with a minority timeshare at DH where he would only start against left handed pitchers either. If he does wind up in AAA he should be shifted to first base and left field exclusively.