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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Seven

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What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, May 19th to May 25th?

Anthony Kay
Chris McShane

Hitter of the Week

Mark Vientos

2019 Season: 44 G, 155 AB, .258/.316/.406, 40 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 11 BB, 41 K, 0/2 SB, .310 BABIP

Week: 7 G, 26 AB, .346/.345/.538, 9 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, 0/0 SB, .333 BABIP

The Mets selected Vientos with their second-round pick in the 2017 Draft and signed him for a slightly above slot value $1.5 million signing bonus. Even thought they spent about $500,000 to get him to forego his commitment to the University of Miami, getting Vientos at 59 was a steal. He was considered a first-round talent but he got off to a slow start at American Heritage High School, hurt his quad during the spring, and had that strong commitment that scared away other teams, dropping to the Mets as a result.

The Mets assigned Vientos to the GCL Mets to start his professional career and he held his own as one of the youngest players in the league, hitting .259/.316/.397 in 47 games in 2017. He played in four games with the Kingsport Mets at the end of the season and then was assigned there for 2018. As one of the youngest players in the Appalachian League, Vientos not only held his own but excelled, hitting .287/.389/.489 in 60 games. He walked 37 times, stuck out 43 times, and hit 11 home runs- the most on the team by a large margin and tied for fourth in the Appalachian League along with Wander Franco and Nolan Gorman.

We named Vientos our third best prospect over the winter, and he clearly isn’t living up to those expectations, but he is heating up and if we look to history, Vientos did the same exact thing in his senior year of high school and then with Kingsport last season. Last year, he hit .275/.362/.392 over the course of the first couple of weeks of the season and then hit .291/.397/.517 for the rest of the year. A lot of people attributed that to Jarred Kelenic being assigned to him and the outfielder “inspiring” Vientos to be better, but the fact may be that he is just a slow starter. He’s having a down year so far no matter how you want to explain it, but he hit .227/.310/.307 in 22 games in April and is currently hitting .288/.322/.500 through 22 games in May.

There are signs that Vientos is coming out of his early season lull- he’s striking out less and his BABIP is pretty much the same as it was in April, meaning he isn’t suddenly benefiting from a lot of luck that’s making the numbers look better- so hopefully he comes out of it and is able to make up some of the ground from being bad in April by having an excellent summer.

Pitcher of the Week

Anthony Kay

2019 Season: 9 G (9 GS), 50.2 IP, 22 H, 7 R, 6 ER (1.07 ERA), 17 BB, 52 K, .171 BABIP

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 1 BB, 7 K

Kay had a no-hitter through 7 innings before they took him out this time around. He should be in Triple-A. I assume he will get promoted in a start or two, at the beginning of June, but if he throws any more innings in Binghamton past that, I think the Mets are being way too conservative and slow. As it is, he’s made 10 starts and has thrown 50 innings with Binghamton. That is a large enough portion of the minor league season to determine if a player is ready or not. I know the Mets use certain benchmarks as a way to gauge whether or not a player is ready to be promoted, but they shouldn’t be too slavish to those benchmarks if they still suggest Kay needs more time in Double-A. He’s been dominant in individual starts. He’s been excellent for the season. If the organization is holding him back because he hasn’t fulfilled certain per game or seasonal benchmarks, they are ignoring his entire body of work this season and literally every other sign that suggests he is ready to be promoted.

Past Players of the Week

Week One (April 4-April 13): Travis Taijeron/Chris Flexen

Week Two (April 14-April 20): Ronny Mauricio/Harol Gonzalez

Week Three (April 21-April 27): Danny Espinosa/Anthony Kay

Week Four (April 28-May 4): Will Toffey/Tommy Wilson

Week Five (May 5-May 11): Carlos Gomez/Harol Gonzalez

Week Six (May 12-May 18): Patrick Mazeika/Anthony Kay