Heading into the 2017 draft, Mark Vientos was not only one of the youngest players available, but he was also considered one of the top prep bats available. Last year, Vientos would prove to be the impact bat the Mets organization believed they were getting when they took him in the second round.
Despite a slow start to the season, Vientos would have a strong finish with Kingsport. From July 1 to the end of the season, Vientos hit .292/.396/.500 with ten doubles, ten home runs, and 45 RBI. Overall, he would finish fourth in the league in homers, sixth in total bases, tenth in slugging, and ninth in OPS.
One of the reasons why Vientos was able to put up those power numbers was his exit velocity. As Mike Puma of Baseball America wrote Vientos’ exit velocity was on par with Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis, Jr. To put that further in perspective, Guerrero and Tatis are Baseball America‘s top two prospects, and Soto is a finalist for the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Seeing Vientos in that company should have everyone excited. Certainly, the Mets are excited. As Mets Assistant General Manager John Ricco said, “He is in some pretty good company. Our guys liked him as a hitter, but they weren’t sure about the power. I am really happy about what we saw this year. We are really pumped about him.”
The Mets are not just pumped about him at the plate, but the organization is also excited about him in the field.
When Vientos was drafted, it was expected he would need to move off of shortstop. While you would normally be inclined to see if he could stick at the position, with the Mets deep talent at the position, it made sense to facilitate the position switch sooner rather than later. Accordingly, Vientos would play 54 of his 58 games in the field at third base.
On the move, a Mets talent evaluator told Puma, “He has soft hands and a good arm. He’s still maturing, because he grew quick. He was a shortstop in high school, but he’s better on the corners.”
With Vientos hitting for power and handling the position switch well, the Mets organization may have its third baseman of the future. When you combine Vientos with other notable prospects in Kingsport like Jarred Kelenic and Ronny Mauricio, the Mets future looks very bright.