Mark Vientos Must Be Called Up Now
The news on Brett Baty was bad. He tore the UCL in his right thumb. He will have it surgically repaired, and for all intents and purposes, he’s done for the season.
It also means the Mets have a roster spot to fill. On that note, they’re an infielder short, but it does appear they’re filling the spot with Deven Marrero. That really doesn’t do much to help this roster right now.
Marrero is your classic Four-A player. In his Major League career, he has a 38 wRC+. That’s actually worse than the Mets catching situation. He’s been solid in the field, but his glove in no way carries his bat.
This is why he started the season with the Long Island Ducks. Picking him up as minor league depth is one thing. Adding him to the roster, and making a 40 man move in the process for a player they don’t need doesn’t make sense.
What the Mets need is Mark Vientos.
In full disclosure, Vientos is not a third base option. He’s been a poor defender there, and that’s why the Mets have looked at him at first and in left. Truth be told, they don’t love him in those spots either.
What Vientos does is hit. More than that, he destroys baseballs.
Through 94 games with Triple-A Syracuse, Vientos has a 136 wRC+. That’s after posting a 159 wRC+ in 12 games for Syracuse last season. A
s a point of reference, Pete Alonso posted a 139 wRC+ in 67 games with Triple-A Las Vegas. Vientos is a full year younger than Alonso was in 2018, and he is in a far less hitter friendly environment.
Another consideration with Vientos is his 136 wRC+ is inclusive of a disastrous first month of the season (Vientos always struggles the first month of the season). In April, Vientos hit .169/.257/.312.
From May 3 to the present, a span of 74 games, Vientos is hitting .310/.382/.582 with 12 doubles, 22 homers, and 63 RBI. Extrapolating that over 162 games, Vientos would be on pace for 26 doubles, 48 homers, and 138 RBI.
The knock on Vientos, even with this level of production, is he strikes out too much. With a 28.5 K%, which is an improvement from last season, there is truth to that.
However, Vientos does not strike out much against left-handed pitching (21.8 K%). On that note, Vientos annihilated left-handed pitching. In 124 plate appearances, he’s batting .343/.411/.759 with six doubles, 13 homers, and 37 RBI.
As an aside, Darin Ruf has struggled with the Mets. In his 15 games with the Mets, he has a 49 wRC+. That includes a 52 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size for sure, but it is indicative of the overall struggles the 36 year old has had this year.
At this point, it appears the Mets are just going out of their way to find reasons to keep Vientos in Triple-A. Vientos has proven he can hit, and his bat would fill a need. Moreover, the Mets have again made a 40 man move to call up a Four-A caliber player over him.
Yes, Vientos has his issues. They’re well known and noted. However, this is a player with the potential to be a special bat. He could provide power to a lineup and bench mostly bereft of it.
Vientos is ready to help this Mets team, and he can fill a void. He’s better than the other options the Mets are utilizing. At some point, enough is enough. We’re at that point. It’s time to call up Vientos.