When teams draft a player, they have certain scouting reports and metrics on their player target. The scouts project the players potential based on those reports. In 2017, when the Mets took a high-schooler in Mark Vientos, they did more than scout and project.
They knew that there would be a huge risk in taking a high school kid. The Mets drafted him out of American Heritage (Plantation, Florida) with the 59th overall pick in the MLB Draft and signed him for $1.5 million. Vientos’ offensive ability was advanced and special enough that they could overlook the age gap and take him so high up. His potential was sky high.
In his first season, 2017, hit .262 with four Home-Runs, 14 doubles, and 26 RBI’s. This showed Mets fans a glimpse of his potential. Scouts say that Vientos’s calling card will always be his gap to gap power with some decent pop. This would make for an extra base hit machine.
I have looked at lots of film of Mark Vientos and have determined that he looks very similar to a very special current MLB player. That player is Manny Machado. Both Machado and Vientos are tall and lanky. In addition to that, each of them can play the hot corner and shortstop well. They furthermore both hit for good power and accumulate many extra base hits.
With all of this info, Mets fans should be very excited for Mark Vientos. Vientos actually had a much better start to his career than Machado and I will show you both players first full seasons after they got drafted. This past year, Mark Vientos put together the following numbers: 60 games, 11 home runs, 52 RBI’s, no triples, 12 doubles, .287 average, and a .389 on-base percentage for Rookie-level Kingsport.
Manny Machado played almost double the number of games, albeit he played 38 in Low-A ball and 63 in High-A equaling to 101 total games. Manny hit 11 home runs, knocked in 50 RBI’s, hit five triples, smacked 20 doubles, hit .257, and had a .335 on-base percentage. Yes, Machado played at a higher level but he was more hyped which may have been at least part of the reason for his quick ascent through the Baltimore organization.
The Mets third base prospect is poised for a very special 2019 and a crucial one in his development as he should be able to jump over Low-A Columbia and go straight to the Florida State League, where he would play for High-A St. Lucie. Vientos has shown that he can play a few years above his age and that his tools are ready for a bigger challenge.
In the past, the Mets have been aggressive with prospects, with Michael Conforto being a perfect example of that in 2015. Well at this point, consider Vientos equal to Conforto after his first season in terms of maturity.
The team have an even bigger motive to rush Vientos up.
Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard aren’t going to last forever and we can’t waste their primes. Vientos is mature enough for promotion and should be promoted. Third-base will be open in 2020 and it would be imperative to have a young stud playing there.
Vientos also has a very special talent that adds to his breakout potential. Much like Joey Votto, Vientos is a very good two-strike hitter. These are the best two-strike hitters this past year in the Mets organization:
|Player||PA with two strikes||AVG||OBP||SLG||wOBA|
Mark Vientos was very good with two-strikes this past year and he credits his quick hands for it. When a hitter can do that, it is a sign of maturity and can take him a long way. Vientos also had a better strikeout rate than league average as he only had 16.4% strikeout rate when the league average is 22.1%. Just look at how good Joey Votto has been at working counts and how it helps the overall team.
Overall I think that the Mets need to dig deeper into each player and figure out how to maximize their potential at the right times. They have done so in the past with the 2015 rotation and the promotion of Conforto that year. Mark Vientos might even have a higher potential than them. Vientos is capable of potentially hitting around .290 with 25-30 homers and 80 RBI in Port St. Lucie this year. If this all happens, the Mets will have another very young special player to look forward to.