Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at infielder Mark Vientos.
Player Review: Mark Vientos
Minor Leagues: 61 Games, 232 At Bats, .306 Batting Average, 71 Hits, 21 Doubles, 1 Triple, 16 Home Runs, 50 RBIs, 38 Runs Scored, 29 Walks, .999 OPS
Major Leagues: 65 Games, 218 At Bats, .211 Batting Average, 46 Hits, 5 Doubles, 1 Triple, 9 Home Runs, 22 RBIs, 19 Runs Scored, 1 Stolen Base, 10 Walks, .620 OPS, -1.1 WAR
Story: After a cup of coffee at the big league level in 2022, Mark Vientos entered spring training on a mission to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster. Vientos torched the baseball in camp but wasn’t given a spot on the 26-man roster, instead beginning the season at AAA Syracuse. The International League was no match for Vientos, who got off to a red-hot start at AAA and caused Mets’ fans to clamor for his promotion to the majors to bolster a struggling offense.
The call came for Vientos in the middle of May and he made an immediate impact, delivering a clutch two-run homer against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 17th to help contribute to a comeback victory. Despite his track record of minor league success, the Mets stubbornly refused to give him everyday at bats, instead giving Daniel Vogelbach every opportunity to fight his way out of a prolonged slump. The stops and starts made it hard for Vientos to get going and he slumped to a .178 batting average before being sent back to AAA in mid-June to get more regular at bats.
The Mets brought Vientos back on July 21st after Luis Guillorme got hurt in Boston and he started getting more regular playing time, including some at bats at third base, and his production started to pick up before left wrist tendonitis sent him to the injured list in mid-August. With the season going nowhere, Vientos continued to get regular playing time, slugging seven homers in September although his overall production wasn’t great due to some lingering soreness in his wrist.
Vientos flashed some solid pop in his first extended big league run but he was undoubtedly hurt by the team’s refusal to give him consistent playing time, although reports emerged after the season that General Manager Billy Eppler was demanding that Buck Showalter play Vogelbach over Vientos while the team was still trying to contend.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds Of Returning: 100%
2024 Role: Designated Hitter/Bench Bat
The Mets will bring Vientos back in 2024 and new President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has indicated he wants to see what Vientos can do at the big league level. Vientos has been working on his defense with Francisco Lindor this winter as he hopes to compete with Brett Baty for the starting third base job but his clearer path to playing time may be at DH, where Stearns cited him and DJ Stewart as two internal options the team could turn to. There is still a chance the Mets add a veteran like Justin Turner to be the primary DH, which could push Vientos down to Syracuse to get regular at bats, but he will definitely be a factor in the 2024 lineup.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach!