Mets promising young slugger optioned to Triple-A

New York Mets third baseman Brett Baty (22) celebrates with New York Mets third baseman Mark Vientos (27) after hitting a home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Clover Park
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets entered this year’s spring training with plenty of competitions set to occur, but arguably the most captivating was the battle for third base between Brett Baty and Mark Vientos.

That position battle now has a victor.

Mark Vientos has been optioned to Triple-A

New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns announced on Sunday that Vientos had been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

“As we looked at the roster construction, some of the matchups early in the season, we just thought this made the right sense both for [Vientos] from a playing time perspective and our team at the major league level,” Stearns said.

Vientos performed solidly this spring, leading the Mets in home runs with five while slashing .232/.259/.536 with a .795 OPS alongside nine RBIs.

The 24-year-old was less than pleased with the decision.

“He’s frustrated. He’s a professional, and I think he certainly would have preferred if he would have gotten the other news and stayed on the major league club. I would expect frustration,” said Stearns. “And now his challenge is to turn that into motivation to do everything that he can to get back, and I think he will do that.”

Vientos rollercoaster past few days

After seeming like a lock to make the roster throughout the spring, the Mets signed J.D. Martinez to a one-year deal on Thursday, putting Vientos in jeopardy of being bumped from the squad.

The blue and orange then revealed that the six-time all-star would begin 2024 in Triple-A Syracuse to ramp up. This gave Vientos hope to start the season as the DH if he was passed up for the third base job, but the Mets decided to go another route.

What does this mean for the Mets?

With Vientos heading to Syracuse, Baty has now secured the third base job.

Baty put up similar numbers to Vientos this spring, slashing .245/.315/.449 with three home runs and six RBIs while having a .764 OPS.

Where the Texas native stands out over Vientos is in the field, which was likely the deciding factor in the decision to give Baty the roster spot.

However, if Baty were to falter offensively once more at the big league level, Vientos still may not find himself on the major league roster as Zack Short and Joey Wendle, who are already on the roster, will take the at-bats.

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