Week: 5 G, 16 AB, .438/.571/.750, 7 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 3 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)
2023 Season: 19 G, 68 AB, .368/.457/.706, 25 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 10 BB, 20 K, 0/0 SB, .442 BABIP (Triple-A)
Mark Vientos’ struggles early on used to be something you could set your watch to. In 2019, his first year in full-season ball, the 19-year-old hit .227/.310/.307 with 1 home run in his first month with the Columbia Fireflies, the Mets’ Low-A affiliate at the time, and progressively improved as the year went on. In 2021, he hit .231/.279/.410 with 3 home runs in his first month with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and laid waste to the Eastern League when the calendar flipped to June. Last season, 2022, he hit .164/.257/.311 with 1 home run in his first month with the Syracuse Mets, and then went off as soon as May rolled around. Through his first 19 games this year, Vientos is hitting .368/.457/.706 with 6 home runs.
It is important to note that the Syracuse Mets are hitting .283/.358/.492 as a team and are one of the best offensive teams in the International League at present. Three of the four teams they have faced so far have well below-average pitching staffs and relievers; the Worcester Red Sox currently have the worst ERA (6.16) out of the 20 International League teams the Rochester Red Wings have the third worst (5.90), and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have the fifth worst (5.34). The Durham Bulls are the only team Syracuse has faced with an ERA not in the bottom percentile (4.41 ERA, fifth best), and to his credit, Vientos performed well against them.
The right-hander is averaging a 94.5 MPH exit velocity through his first 19 games, with an average of 99.6 MPH in 13 batted ball events in his past series. Interestly, that is actually an improvement over the 93.3 MPH he averaged against the RailRiders in 16 batted ball events and the 87.5 MPH he averaged against the Red Wings in 12 batted ball events. Against better overall pitching, he made more solid contact and hit the ball harder.
Vientos traditionally has struggled against breaking balls down and away and premium velocity upstairs. Interestingly, he has yet to really face premium velocity. The right-hander has only faced a handful of pitchers capable of throwing 95+ MPH who have actually thrown pitches that have registered as 95+ MPH, 16 pitchers to be exact who threw 29 total over 95 MPH. Against Chase Shugart, he logged 1 swinging strike and 1 ball; against Cam Booser, 1 called strike; against Jesus Liranzo, 3 balls; against Jose A Ferrer, 1 foul ball; against Gerson Moreno, 1 ball and 1 called strike; against Jake Irvin, 1 ball and 1 swinging strike; against Greg Wiessert, 1 called strike; against Randy Vasquez, 1 swinging strike; against Deivi Garcia, 1 called strike, 1 groundout, 1 swinging strike, 1 foul, and 2 balls; against James Norwood, 1 called strike; against DJ Snelten, 1 foul, 1 ball, and 1 pop out; against Mitch Spence, 1 ball; against Luis Patino, 1 ground out; against Josh Roberson, 1 ball; against Ben Heller, 2 fouls; and against Jose Lopez: , 1 called strike. Against all pitches down and away, he is currently 7-23. More specifically, he is 4-8 against fastballs down and away and is 3-15 against breaking balls down and away.
We are still very much in small sample size territory, and the right-hander has not faced enough elite velocity or pitchers pitching him down and way to make any definite statements that the infielder has improved this part of his game. It is well within the realm of possibility that he has, but more time is needed to verify whether or not the data that we do have is reflective of reality.
Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (High-A)
2023 Season: 3 G (1 GS), 16.0 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 12 ER (6.75 ERA), 6 BB, 16 K, .333 BABIP (High-A)
A native of Severn, Maryland, Jordan Geber attended Archbishop Spalding High School, where he lettered four seasons as a pitcher and a third baseman and was also a competitive swimmer. He graduated in 2017, attending Mount St. Mary’s University, a private Roman Catholic university in Emmitsburg, Maryland. As a freshman, he posted a 5.17 ERA in 38.1 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 27, and striking out 35. In his sophomore year, he posted a 7.17 ERA in 59.0 innings, allowing 77 hits, walking 30, and striking out 59. His 2020 junior season was cut short due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, and the right-hander went undrafted in the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB Draft. Geber returned to the Mountaineers in 2021 and he posted a 3.88 ERA in 60.1 innings, allowing 47 hits, walking 26, and striking out 68. He went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft and transferred to Virginia Tech as a graduate transfer student. He appeared in 16 games for the Hokies, pitching as a starter and a reliever, and posted a 5.40 ERA in 35.0 innings, allowing 39 hits, walking 9, and striking out 40. For a third consecutive season, though eligible, Geber went undrafted.
He joined the MLB Draft League and pitched for the Frederick Keys and appeared in four games for them, starting three. In 16.1 innings, the right-hander posted a 4.96 ERA, allowing 14 hits, walking 5, and striking out 16. The Mets signed Geber in early August and assigned him to St. Lucie Mets, where he made six appearances. He was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in mid-September and made one appearance with them, posting a combined 5.59 ERA in 29.0 innings, allowing 35 hits, 12 walks, and 28 strikeouts.
The 6’3”, 205-pound right-hander throws from a three-quarters arm slot, short arming the ball. There are some moving parts to his mechanics, negatively impacting his control. His fastball sits in the low-90s, averaging 91 MPH, and featuring slight sink. He complements his fastball with a low-to-mid-80s gyroscopic slider and a mid-to-high-80s changeup with slight armside fade.