Mark Vientos Answers Questions And Then Some
Mark Vientos’ transition from shortstop to third base has been deemed an early success by Mets officials, based as much on the 18-year-old’s offense as his defense.
"We drafted him as a shortstop, but knew he would end up at third and moved him over there this year,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. "The question was going to be if he had the power, and I think he is starting to show that he’s got it, clearly.”
Vientos, a 2017 second-round pick out of high school in Plantation, Fla., hit 287/.389/.489 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 60 games for Rookie-level Kingsport. The Mets expect that Vientos will begin next season at Low Class A Columbia.
"He got off to a little bit of a slow start, but ultimately he had an outstanding year for us,” Ricco said.
Among teenagers, Vientos’ exit velocity was among the tops in baseball, according to Ricco, putting him in the vicinity of prospects such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. in that category.
"He is in some pretty good company,” Ricco said. "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 6-foot-4, 185-pound Vientos played shortstop at American Heritage High and had committed to the Miami, prompting the Mets to sign him for an over-slot bonus of $1.5 million.
Any concerns about Vientos’ shift to third base seem to have dissipated.
"He has soft hands and a good arm,” a Mets talent evaluator said. "He’s still maturing, because he grew quick. He was a shortstop in high school, but he’s better on the corners.”