Mets Notebook: Mark Vientos homers twice, David Peterson to get X-rays on foot
JUPITER, Fla. — Mark Vientos wanted in on the action.
One of the Mets’ most heralded prospects in camp this year, Vientos has long been known for his power at the plate but it was two other prospects — shortstop Ronny Mauricio and third baseman Brett Baty — who had been doing most of the home run hitting for the Mets until Saturday.
Vientos made up for lost time with two homers in the Mets’ win over the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The two home runs capped a monster day for Vientos, who went 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs.
“Vientos reminded us that he’s got a good hit tool,” manager Buck Showalter said.
There seems to be some healthy competition between the Mets’ top prospects. Vientos played in Triple-A last season with Baty and catcher Francisco Alvarez, another one of the Mets’ power-hitting prospects, and the trio should be joined in Syracuse by Mauricio this season.
“I was messing around with Brett and Ronny the other day. I was like, ‘You guys have some, now I’ve got to get me one,’” Vientos said. “Two today, so it was nice to get them out of the way.”
While Vientos clearly enjoys his Syracuse teammates, the 23-year-old is hoping more home runs and the ability to play multiple positions will help him get back to the big club in Queens and more importantly, help him stay there.
Vientos started at third base for the first time this spring on Saturday after having played mostly at first over the past week of games. He also has an outfield glove with him. Drafted as a third baseman, he’s aware of what the depth chart looks like with Baty and Eduardo Escobar, the latter of which has helped him work on his defense at the position.
With the help of Escobar, infield coordinator Joey Cora and bench coach Eric Chavez, Vientos thinks he’s ready to play third base every day in the Major Leagues. He had a talk with Chavez before the game about receiving ground balls and his pre-pitch setup at third and he feels his first-step quickness improved over the winter.
But Vientos is confident at both corner infield positions and wants to play anywhere he’s needed.
“I’m happy to be on the field every day, no matter where that is,” Vientos said.
REELING IN THE BIG TUNA
Bill Parcells was in attendance on Saturday and visited Showalter prior to the start of the game. An area resident, the Hall of Fame former coach of the Jets, Giants and Dallas Cowboys is a longtime friend of Showalter, dating back to their days coaching in New York and Dallas.
Left-hander David Peterson was taken back to Port St. Lucie for X-rays on his left foot after being hit with a comebacker in the fourth inning. Showalter said he was “sore” and the level of concern was minimal. Peterson tossed two scoreless innings, walking two and striking out one in his second Grapefruit League appearance this season.