The Mets are set to call up infield prospect Mark Vientosaccording to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Vientos is already on New York’s 40-man roster, having been selected in November of 2021 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft that eventually was canceled by the lockout. That means the club will only need to open a spot on the active roster in terms of corresponding moves.
Vientos, 22, was a second-round pick of the Mets, getting selected 59th overall in 2017. He got into some rookie ball games that year and fared well, despite still just being 17 years old. Going into 2018, Baseball America ranked him as the #6 prospect in the Mets system. Since then, Vientos has been creeping up the minor league ladder, largely holding steady in the 4-6 range in the organization, per BA’s rankings.
After the pandemic wiped out the minors in 2020, Vientos got assigned to Double-A in 2021. In 72 games with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, he hit 22 home runs and produced an overall batting line of .281/.346/.580. He also struck out in 28.4% of his plate appearances, but it was still impressive enough for Vientos to get a call-up to Triple-A in September.
He returned to the Syracuse Mets here in 2022, getting into 101 games so far on the season. He’s hit another 24 home runs and slashed .280/.358/.519. He’s still going down on strikes at a high rate, with a 28.6% mark for the year. Nevertheless, his overall production with the bat has been 29% better than league average, as evidenced by his 129 wRC+. He’ll now get a chance to bring some of that tremendous power up to the big leagues with him. He’ll be making his MLB debut as soon as he gets into a game.
Although Vientos has played some first base this season, he’s primarily been slotted in at third, which is probably where he’s most likely to take the field since Pete Alonso has first base covered. The Mets already tried promoting a prospect to cover third when they brought up Bretty Baty. Unfortunately, he had to undergo thumb surgery and might be done for the season. He and Luis Guillorme are both on the injured list at the moment, though Guillorme is rehabbing and could return soon. With those two on the shelf, Eduardo Escobar has been at the hot corner. He’s been hot lately but still below average on the season overall, slashing .231/.282/.408, wRC+ of 95.
There’s also the possibility of Vientos being deployed as a designated hitter, where the Mets have been using a platoon of Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf. The left-handed-hitting Vogelbach is doing fine but Ruf is struggling with his part of the deal. Since being acquired from the Giants, he’s hitting just .156/.200/.222. Since Vientos is right-handed, he could take some at-bats away from Ruf. However he’s deployed, the Mets will be hoping Vientos provides a spark to help them in a divisional race that has tightened significantly of late. They had a 10 1/2 game lead in the NL East in early June but have since been passed by a surging Atlanta club that is now half a game ahead.