Mark Vientos looks as though he’s starting to get the hang of things up in the majors with the Mets.
Finally getting consistent playing time, the 23-year-old is playing some of his best ball with the big club, headlined by his first-career two-home-run game during Wednesday night’s 8-3 win in Miami against the Marlins.
Appearing in 17 of the Mets’ last 20 games, he’s batting .307 with a .929 OPS, five home runs and nine RBI. He posted just two home runs and 10 RBI with a .186 batting average over his first 39 games of the season, which included a demotion to the minors and a stint on the injured list.
“I feel comfortable,” Vientos said after his big night. “You have your rough stretches and your time when you are feeling good and now I am feeling good and I want to take it to the end of the season.”
His late breakout is an important development for a Mets team that has overarching questions surrounding their designated hitter spot.
Daniel Vogelbach’s inability to run away with the job over the last year and a half could very well force the Mets to the open market to address the role this winter. Vientos, however, has done most of his damage lately as New York’s primary DH.
In theory, it suggests that it should be his job to lose considering the Mets’ philosophy. They’re getting younger, building up their farm system, and are hoping to have a legitimate contender filled with products from their pipeline by 2025.
But management has also stressed the importance of versatility, and Vientos is very much a third-base option despite Brett Baty and even Ronny Mauricio in the mix for the hot corner as well.
Those are bridges to cross when the Mets get there. For now, Vientos is starting to show that his bat is legitimate.
“We’ve always known he can impact the ball,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “And he did it [Wednesday] twice.”