By Jerry Del Priore
Infielder Mark Vientos started out as the New York Mets’ preseason sixth-rated prospect on MLB Pipeline Watch list but has slid to the tenth spot during the year. Nonetheless, the Pembroke Pines, Florida, product has a few positives going for him.
First, Vientos is only 18, giving him time to mentally mature while growing into his six-foot-four, 185-pound frame.
Secondly, despite the repositioning to the tenth slot, Vientos is having a productive season, hitting .309 with nine homers and 36 RBI with a slash line of .380/.525/.905 in 158 at-bats in 41 games with the Kingsport Mets of the rookie-level Appalachian League (AL).
Lastly, he has the raw tools of power and bat speed, which could translate into good future offensive numbers — just like the ones the American Heritage High School (where Eric Hosmer attended) alumnus is currently experiencing – at higher minor league levels, and beyond.
Vientos, though he has below-average speed and lacks range, his right throwing arm and soft hands make him a better shortstop than expected, according to sources within the Mets organization. But most see a full-time move to third base in his future.
If Vientos does see more time at third base in the minors, right now, he’s the highest ranked New York hot corner prospect in its farm system.
Met fans will see in time, which is on Vientos’ side, by the way.