After a rough start to the month of May, the New York Mets will reportedly call up 1B/3B Mark Vientos, who made his Major League debut late last season. The right-handed slugger torched AAA pitching in 2023, and know he’ll look to do the same in the Majors for Mets team in need of a spark at the plate. Here’s a closer look at Vientos.
A Look at Vientos
The New York Mets selected then-shortstop Mark Vientos in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft. At the time, Vientos was projected by some to be a first-round talent, thanks to his ability to drive the ball as a high school and projectable frame. It took Vientos a while to develop, but he’s rounded nicely into form in recent years.
Vientos broke out in 2021, when he hit .281/.352/.581 with 25 home runs and 43 extra base hits across two levels. The 6’4” infielder cranked 22 more bombs for Syracuse (AAA) last season in 101 games. Vientos received his taste of the Majors last season, when he received 41 plate appearances with the Mets. The 23-year-old hit just .167, but showcased a keen eye at the plate and made hard contact when he did put bat on ball.
Plus power is the defining trait of Vientos’ game, and that was very much evident across the first six weeks of the 2023 MiLB season. In just 38 games with Syracuse, Vientos hit 13 home runs and 24 extra base hits and hit .333/.416/.688 along the way. The Mets infielder’s plate discipline rates as above-average, as does his contact ability. But, expect a lot of strikeouts.
Defensively, Vientos has split time between first and third in Syracuse. He did play 13 games as a Minor League in left field, but all of those came back in 2021.
The 23-year-old does have the arm strength to play third, although his range at the position is a question mark. At worst, Vientos profiles as a first baseman that can play third in a pinch at the MLB level.
ESPN first reported the promotion of Vientos. As of this writing, the Mets have not confirmed the recall.
A Look at the Mets Lineup and Fantasy Outlook
The move to callup Vientos was triggered by two factors. One, Vientos had nothing left to prove in AAA. The 23-year-old regularly lit up Statcast with gaudy exit velocity numbers, and his 13 home runs and 24 extra base hits across 38 games is evidence that his bat is just too good for that level.
Second, the Mets lineup simply needs a jolt. Entering the day on May 17, the Mets owned a team OPS of .704 (19th-best in MLB) and 179 runs scored (21st-best in MLB). The Amazins’ have struggled driving in runners in scoring position and at 20-23, have fallen behind division rivals Miami and Philadelphia in the NL East. Vientos may not be able to solve all of the Mets’ problems on offense, but his ability to drive the ball and get on base should, at the very least, deepen a lineup that’s failed to produce on most nights.
As far as Vientos’ fantasy value outlook is concerned, the key to his present value will be how much playing time the Mets plan to give him moving forward. There’s no clear path for Vientos to receive time in the field given the presences of Pete Alonso, Brett Baty, and Eduardo Escobar. The Mets have used Daniel Vogelbach as a platoon option in the DH slot against right-handed pitchers, but it’s unclear at this moment as to whether the Mets view Vientos as a compliment to Vogelbach or are willing to give him regular playing time.