Week: 6 G, 29 AB, .448/.467/.828, 13 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 1 BB, 4 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)
2022 Season: 87 G, 325 AB, .289/.363/.545, 94 H, 15 2B, 1 3B, 22 HR, 36 BB, 106 K, 0/2 SB, .362 BABIP (Triple-A)
With a few years of full-season data at our disposal, it is safe to say that Mark Vientos is a slow starter. In 2019, when he spent the year with the Columbia Fireflies, he hit .240/.286/.364 in 59 games with 5 HR in the first half of the season and .270/.315/.464 in 51 games with 7 HR in the second half of the season. In 2021, when played the majority of the season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and then got into a handful of games with the Syracuse Mets at the end of the year, he hit .231/.279/.410 with 3 HR in 21 games in May, .324/.407/.775 with 9 HR in 18 games in June, .282/.367/.641 with 8 HR in 21 games in July, .298/.327/.468 with 2 HR in 12 games in August, and .286/.405/.600 with 3 HR in 10 games in September.
His 2022 season is very similar to his 2021, as he hit .164/.257/.312 with 1 HR in 19 games in April, .328/.408/.642 with 6 HR in 18 games in May, .242/.375/.515 with 6 HR in 17 games in June, .317/.353/.595 with 6 HR in 21 games in July, and through 13 games in August is currently hitting .404/.436/.654 with 3 HR.
While Brett Baty recently got the call to the Mets, Vientos’ path to the majors is a little more complicated due to the presence of Darin Ruf, who was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for JD Davis, Thomas Szapucki, Nick Zwack, and Carson Seymour. The two share many of the same attributes, from their handedness and carrying tool to their defensive limitations and liabilities.
Since being acquired on August 2nd, Ruf is hitting .231/.276/.346 in 26 at-bats over 11 games. During that period, Vientos has hit .417/.440/.688 in 48 at-bats over 11 games with Syracuse.
Davis was given multiple opportunities in New York to succeed this season, and simply seemed to need a change of scenery. The air and weather in San Fransisco must be doing him good, as he is currently hitting .279/.380/.581 in 43 at-bats over 16 games.
Szapucki was initially assigned to the Sacramento River Cats, San Fransisco’s Triple-A affiliate, where he made three appearances out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run in 2.2 innings, with 6 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. He was promoted to the major league team shortly thereafter and has posted almost the same exact numbers, albeit in two outings, allowing one earned run in 2.2 innings with 5 hits allowed, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts.
Zwack was assigned to the Eugene Emeralds, San Fransisco’s High-A affiliate, where he has made three starts. The southpaw currently has a 5.40 ERA in 13.1 innings with 15 hits allowed, 5 walks, and 17 strikeouts. Seymour, a teammate of Zwack’s in St. Lucie and Brooklyn, was also assigned to the Emeralds. He also has made three starts with them so far and has a 4.50 ERA in 14.0 innings with 14 hits allowed, and an identical 5 walks, and 17 strikeouts.
At some point, the Mets need to figure out what they are going to do with Vientos, both in 2022 and beyond. While he is far from a perfect player, as his swing is long and exploitable, he also has a 138 wRC+ in Syracuse and is currently leading the International League in home runs and is 7th in OPS among players with 250 or more plate appearances.
Week: 1 G (0 GS), 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (Rookie)
Season: 11 G (56 GS), 36.1 IP, 22 H, 19 R, 16 ER (3.96 ERA), 21 BB, 55 K, .278 BABIP (Rookie)
The 20-year-old is coming off back-to-back weeks where he has been fairly dominant. On August 13, he came in after Javier Atencio threw an inning plus, and while he got tagged with the loss thanks to an unearned run coming in to score, he was brilliant. Orellana ended up pitching 3.2 innings and allowed a single hit, walked two, and struck out 9. Recording 9 out of 11 outs via punchout is impressive, and making the right-hander’s afternoon even more impressive, 8 of those 9 strikeouts were swinging. This past week, Orellana threw five strong innings, recording another 8 strikeouts. Like his prior start, the majority of those strikeouts were swinging; 6 batters were called out whiffing on strike there and two were called out looking.
His 55 strikeouts on the season so far lead the Florida Complex League. Not only is he leading the league in that category, but he has struck out more batters in far fewer innings than virtually all of the other pitchers in the top 10. Yankees hurlers Yorlin Calderon and Brock Selvidge are second and third respectively with 54 strikeouts in 39.0 innings and 53 in 42.2. Houston Astros pitchers Jose Nodal and Reimy Beltre are fourth and fifth in the league with 53 strikeouts in 51.0 innings and 52 strikeouts in 42.0 innings. Juan Rojas, Walker Brockhouse, Jedixson Paez, Cristofer Mezquita, and Justin Lange round out the top 10 and all have inferior K/9 rates as compared to Orellana.