After putting together a solid season in Triple-A Syracuse, Mark Vientos finally got the call-up to the big leagues in September. Unfortunately for him it did not go well. In sixteen games he hit just .167/.268/.278 with just one home run and three RBIs. He also struck out in twelve times in 36 at-bats. He had a couple good games here and there but, for the most part, he seemed overwhelmed by major league pitching.
It is now 2023, and the Mets are still in search of a right-handed option to complement Daniel Vogelbach at DH. Vientos put together a solid spring where he hit 283/.316/.807 with two home runs and 11 RBIs, but the team optioned him to Triple-A so he will start the season in Syracuse.
The Mets seem to be sticking instead with Darin Ruf who has been less than inspiring since joining the Mets. With camp coming to a close, Ruf has done nothing to change the narrative. He hit just .160/.250/.490 with 0 home runs and a single RBI in 25 at-bats. He is also battling arthritis in his wrist that required a cortisone shot and delayed the start of his camp.
Based on the spring numbers alone the job should have gone to Vientos or even Brett Baty. Baty was impressive throughout spring. He hit .333/.469/.905 in 39 at-bats, but has just home run and his defense is still questionable. If Baty continues to hit in Triple-A he will most likely get the call-up first before Vientos. He gives the team a bit more flexibility since, as a switch-hitter, Eduardo Escobar could serve as DH if he loses the third base role to Baty during the season.
No matter what, at this point Vientos has at the very least put himself in the conversation at DH if Ruf continues to struggle. He hit 24 home runs in Triple-A last season, but he does strike out a ton. He had 122 strikeouts with Syracuse in 2022 and this spring seems to be more of the same. His defense is not great, so he should see very limited playing time in the field. But despite all of that, he is just 23-years-old and has more potential with the bat than a 36-year-old whose career is trending in the other direction.