The Mets got a potential bargain in Round 14, taking a talented but inconsistent second baseman from the University of Connecticut named Vinny Siena. I was a little surprised Siena didn’t go sooner—he has some noticeable tools that make him stand out, but it’s clear a lack of performance at the college level and in the Cape Cod League last season scared some teams off.
Although he doesn’t have a lot of size at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, Siena does have above average speed, both in his bat and in his feet, and that has helped him stay in the eye of scouts when he’s on the field. At the plate, he had a stellar year in 2015, hitting .362/.424/.519 and swiping 11 bags in 16 attempts. Despite having good speed, I would not expect Siena to be a big base stealer going forward. He’ll be more of a picks-his-spots kind of guy than a guy looking to cause havoc on the basepaths.
His swing is simple: he has a mild hand load, relying on his quick wrists and natural bat speed to drive the ball instead. As of right now, it’s an effective, smooth stroke without a lot of length to it, something that will bear watching, because his struggles during a sophomore year during which he hit just .231 were largely attributed to a long swing. He gets good hip rotation, and has a simple foot plant as a timing mechanism. Provided the swing stays the way it looks right now, it could be an effective line-drive swing in the pros. There are reports that his pitch recognition and plate discipline both need work, so it’s imperative that the swing stays simple to mitigate the problems his aggressive approach at the plate can cause.
Defensively, he draws praise for most of what he does. He has fluid actions at second, a plus arm, and his speed helps his range. I’m a little surprised that he hasn’t seen much time at short in college, but that may be a result of his hands, which aren’t the softest. If the hands don’t hold up, there’s hope he can succeed in the outfield, where his speed gives him a chance in center and his arm a chance in right.
It’s not exactly clear what the Mets have in SIena, who has already indicated that he’ll sign with the team, but it is clear that he has a chance at developing into an everyday player, which is unusual to find in the 14th round. If not, he offers enough versatility that he could become a valuable role player.