Mark Vientos isn’t the first name that pops out to Mets fans concerning intriguing prospects down the pipeline. But he’s making his case to potentially be a long-term contributor in the major leagues.
Vientos, a versatile 21-year old third baseman, has 14 home runs and 40 RBIs through 48 games for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Mets’ Double-A affiliate. He practiced at the team’s alternative site last year after the minor league season was canceled in 2020 and said he focused on becoming stronger. Vientos had 12 home runs in 111 games in 2019 in Class-A at 19 years old.
"Honestly, I’ve always known I’ve had power," Vientos said. "In 2019, I wasn’t at a friendly ballpark and I’d say this league is a lot friendlier with the ballparks and it’s showing with my numbers now. Obviously, I’ve gotten a lot stronger in the offseason, I’m 21 years old now, I’m building into my man body now."
Vientos, a second-round selection out of American Heritage High School in Florida, has a .277/.348/.588 slash line through July 15 and is the team’s No. 8 prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline. One of the most appealing aspects of Vientos’ game is his versatility. He’s been the primary third baseman for the Rumble Ponies this season but has also played first base and leftfield in Binghamton after playing shortstop out of high school.
"All the coordinators told me in the beginning of the season to just be ready to play multiple spots because there’s a ton of good players in the major leagues and you want to be in that lineup every single day," Vientos said. "So me being able to play some left, some first base, third, just being all around so I can be in the lineup every day is a big opportunity and I’m fortunate to have that opportunity."
Brett Baty, the Mets’ No. 4 prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline, was promoted to Double-A Tuesday. Baty, a natural third baseman, was the No. 12 overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft and started his first game with Binghamton in leftfield.
Vientos said he’s excited to play with Baty in Binghamton and the two trained together in the alternative site last year. Both can play multiple positions, but Vientos said he isn’t concerned with competing against others in his own system.
"I’m more focused on how I’m developing and how I become as a player," Vientos said. "You can’t really worry about anyone else but yourself. You can only worry about when’s your time and being ready."
Notes & quotes: Nick Tropeano, a Stony Brook University and West Islip High School graduate, allowed one run in three innings for Triple-A Syracuse Wednesday. It was his first start since being optioned July 11. Tropeano, 30, has split time between the Mets and Syracuse since being claimed off waivers from the Giants June 11.