Is Infield Prospect Mark Vientos Someone to Watch in Cubs-Mets Trade Talks?

We usually discuss how the New York Mets are a tough match for the Chicago Cubs this commerce season, not less than on the larger names like Willson Contreras and David Robertson, as a result of their farm system is extraordinarily top-heavy. They have one celebrity prospect who is not going wherever (Francisco Alvarez), one other tip-top prospect whom they’re additionally warding off limits (Brett Baty), after which a tier slightly below of men who’re both simply inside prime 100 for consideration some companies, or simply outdoors of it. And then after these further three or 4 names, it is a fairly big drop off.

To make certain, your mileage could fluctuate on a few of these guys, and there might have been developments down all through the system that do not present up on prospect rankings but (we have seen that earlier than). But, usually talking, I do assume it is a difficult match for these groups, and it isn’t all simply the Mets doing their fake protesting factor. They in all probability don’t desire to hand over a number of guys from that second tier, however the Cubs could not need to do a deal with out it.

Anyway, one of many guys in that second tier is slugging infield prospect Mark Vientos, and the specificity of this point out from Josh Frydman positive caught my consideration:

Frydman, a neighborhood sports activities reporter, would not have a tendency to get too closely concerned in the rumor recreation, however I additionally know him to be a particularly considerate man. If he is saying publicly that he is heard this – one thing this particular – then he is positively heard it from a very good supply.

It appears very doubtless that the Mets would really like to use Vientos as a prime commerce chip, for causes explored beneath. Whether this implies the Cubs are into it, or whether or not it is a scenario the place the Mets have mainly advised the Cubs, “Hey, it doesn’t matter what, if we do a deal, Vientos has to be a very good a part of the return,” stays to be seen

Which is just not to say Vientos is not a legit prospect. A former second rounder, Vientos is simply 22 and already hitting .263/.345/.519/126 wRC+ at Triple-A. He has a number of the largest uncooked energy in the minors (70 grade), and may hit the crap out of the ball. He is hanging out 30.9% of the time, although, which would not be good in the interpretation to the large leagues, and he’s additionally enjoying largely at first base and DH after beforehand being a 3rd baseman.

For perspective on Vientos, here is a number of the Baseball America scouting report, the place Vientos ranks 4th in their system:

Vientos has large uncooked energy and may attain the deepest recesses of left discipline. His swing is geared to do harm in the air and he can take the ball out to all fields. The majority of his 2021 house runs had been hit to proper discipline. Vientos has improved his pitch recognition, particularly towards breaking stuff from righthanders, and after catching up to the pace of Double-A he compiled a 1.043 OPS in his last 60 video games. He would not flinch at velocity and will develop into a near-average hitter with plus energy. Drafted as a shortstop, Vientos shifted to third base as a professional. He is playable there and has a plus arm. Some scouts imagine his thick decrease half might drive him to first base, however Vientos has proven a renewed give attention to conditioning this offseason. He tried his hand at left discipline, however rival scouts are unconvinced.

FanGraphs, which has Vientos sixth in the system, offers maybe essentially the most pessimistic view on Vientos, which might be price a learn, too:

Vientos has crammed out to the purpose the place it’s impacting his vary and talent to flip his hips and make sturdy, correct throws, so he now cleanly initiatives to first base solely; he is performed completely first for the final couple of weeks at Syracuse. He could be very related to Bobby Dalbec, with plus-plus energy undercut by strikeouts, and like Dalbec, Vientos will in all probability have some years the place he hits in extra of 25 house runs however nonetheless performs shut to substitute stage. Vientos tends to be late on fastballs and he struggles to get on prime of ones on the prime of the strike zone, however he very simply has the energy to put them out to the alternative discipline. He is on the Mets 40-man and with Pete Alonso entrenched forward of him, he’s a candidate to be moved in a commerce, particularly if the opposite celebration takes a model-driven strategy. One of the youthful prospects in his draft class, Vientos remains to be simply 22 and hitting for big energy at Triple-A. If there is a factor that cleanly separates him from Dalbec and makes that comp rather less comfortable, it is that Dalbec solely reached the higher ranges at age 23/24. The youthful Vientos needs to be given extra grace for his strikeout points.

So you get a little bit of a way there on a man who has a ton of energy, has numerous upside, however whose worth is undercut a bit by numerous swing and miss. Sound acquainted? Yes, it is a profile the Cubs have had some success with bettering on the margins, and possibly in the Cubs’ system, Vientos might develop into an excellent general bat, and you reside with the 30+ % strikeout charge.

The rub, for me, is the defensive limitations. If he can play solely first base (or DH), you then’re speaking a couple of want for the bat to be extraordinarily productive in order for him to be a helpful, and even common, participant general.

I have a tendency to assume the explanation the Mets could be so keen to transfer Vientos now in a deal is exactly as a result of they see him as first-base-only, and he is by no means going to get that point with the Mets due to Pete Alonso. So, then, capitalize on its worth now.

The query for the Cubs is whether or not they see this as a possibility to get extra worth from the Mets than they may in any other case have the ability, given Vientos presumably being squeezed (even if you happen to won’t in any other case select Vientos, particularly, to add to the Cubs’ system). In that case, you simply get as a lot worth as you may, after which you determine the way you truly use/develop Vientos later. It additionally relies on precisely what the Mets are looking for from the Cubs, as a result of if it is each Contreras and Robertson, I’d assume a very good bit extra would wish to be in the deal, too.

Interestingly, Mark Vientos elements into the Mets’ complete “we do not actually have to make a commerce” vibe, as a result of they’ve provided him up publicly as their in-house possibility for a big-time righty bat:

You can select to imagine that nonetheless a lot you want…

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