An organization hungry for prospects who are close to major league ready will be closely monitoring Mark Vientos’ progress this season.
The 21-year-old third baseman began the 2021 season at Double-A Binghamton. He spent 2019 at Low-A Columbia, where he hit .255/.300/.411 with 12 home runs and 62 RBIs as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League.
Vientos, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 185 pounds, was a 2017 second-rounder from American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla.
“He has the makeup of an everyday third baseman with his power and his size,” Mets scout Tony DeFrancesco said. “He’s going to be challenged this year going to Double-A. That is going to be a nice challenge for the kid after not playing most of last year.”
The Mets have other infield prospects rated ahead of Vientos, most notably shortstop Ronny Mauricio and third baseman Brett Baty. But Vientos is the veteran of the group, albeit with just 222 games of pro experience headed into 2021.
Though Vientos signed as a shortstop and played there in Rookie ball, his future will come as a third baseman who can perhaps enhance his value by learning first base.
“He’s got power to all fields, a nice short stroke,” DeFrancesco said. “Now it’s (let’s) see if he can move laterally defensively and have some of the reactions, but from what I have seen in spring training, it looks like he can handle himself at the next level and hopefully he will be on his way.”
DeFrancesco added that Vientos’ arm strength isn’t a question. But organization officials want to see him master the nuances of fielding the position.
“He’s going from Low-A, missing out on most of his development last year, but he’s in the same boat as every other guy,” DeFrancesco said.
“This is what we need—some young life in our upper levels. I hope that is the case with some of these guys. (Let’s) see if we can develop them at a younger age and get them to the big leagues faster.”
NEW YORK MINUTES
— Matt Allan, the organization’s top pitching prospect, was assigned to High-A Brooklyn to begin the season. The righthander was an invitee to major league spring training.
— The Mets claimed catcher Deivy Grullon on waivers from the Rays and assigned him to Triple-A Syracuse. The 25-year-old spent 2019 playing at Triple-A for the Phillies.