The Mets referred to as up Mark Vientos, a power-hitting infielder, in hopes of sparking their flagging offense.
Vientos, 23, was hitting .333 with 13 residence runs, 37 runs batted in and a 1.104 on-base plus slugging share in 38 video games for Class AAA Syracuse this season — he had gone 2 for five with a house run in Tuesday evening’s loss. .
He began at third base for the Mets in Wednesday’s recreation towards the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field, giving Brett Baty a day without work. He batted eighth, one spot forward of catcher Francisco Álvarez.
Baty, Álvarez and Vientos are a part of a brand new technology of Mets gamers that the crew hopes can finally take over for higher-priced free brokers. And their potential was on show in Wednesday’s recreation, as Vientos hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and Álvarez hit a game-tying three-run shot in the underside of the ninth. The Mets then gained, 8-7, on a walk-off three-run homer from Pete Alonso in the tenth.
Why It Matters
Expectations had been sky excessive for the Mets after final 12 months’s 101-win season and an low season spending spree in which Steven A. Cohen, the crew’s billionaire proprietor, allowed for the payroll to surge to almost $350 million, which is able to balloon even additional down. the street because of Major League Baseball’s multi-tier luxurious tax system.
Thus far nearly nothing had gone proper. The Mets entered Wednesday’s recreation with a file of 20-23 — six and a half video games behind Atlanta in the National League East. They had been additionally a recreation and a half behind the Miami Marlins for the NL’s third wild-card spot.
The Mets’ greatest drawback has been pitching, with their starters combining for a 5.46 ERA getting into Wednesday’s recreation. But offense has additionally been a difficulty. The crew ranked nineteenth in OPS — a measurement that displays each the crew’s potential to get on base (on-base share) and to hit for energy (slugging share) — twenty first in runs and is tied for twentieth in residence runs.
Vientos was solely 17 in 2017 when the Mets made him a second-round pick of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla. He had a 16-game call-up to the majors final season, and disillusioned by going 6 for 36 with one residence run and 12 strikeouts. But he has completely crushed the ball in the excessive minors. In 150 video games at Class AAA over elements of the final three seasons, he has hit .294 with 40 residence runs and a .566 slugging share.
A below-average runner, he has not displayed a substantial amount of promise defensively, which limits his total worth, and his greatest place will more than likely be first base, which the Mets hope can be occupied by Alonso for years to come back.
Vientos, nevertheless, represents a major offensive improve from the Mets’ most incessantly used participant off the bench, Tommy Pham, who’s hitting .200 in 83 plate appearances. If Vientos can discover common enjoying time, in the infield, the outfield or at designated hitter, the Mets could be counting on three minimum-salary rookies regardless of having the very best payroll in MLB historical past.
Neither Baty, who was referred to as up in an analogous trend to Vientos final season solely to maintain a season-ending damage, nor Álvarez has been notably spectacular with their bats, however each have held their very own defensively at troublesome positions, which has helped preserve them in the lineup. Vientos might want to justify his roster spot together with his bat.
On Wednesday he did simply that.