Tale of the Tape
Age on Draft Day: 17 years, 6 mos.
Weight: 190 lbs.
Equipped with offensive upside, youth and positional flexibility, Mark Vientos represents one of the top high school position players in this year’s draft.
Even before getting into the ins and outs of Vientos’ swing, defensive mechanics and other on-field attributes, Vientos has a ton going for him. First, his tall, lanky frame would remind many of draft-eligible infielders from years’ past who just look the part of a major league player.
Second is Vientos’ age. At just 17 1⁄2 on draft day, Vientos will be two months younger on his draft day than Carlos Correa was five years ago (wow, it’s really been that long)? He’s most likely not a quick mover through a pro system, which takes away from any potential contribution that may come even in Houston’s present window of contention unless he goes all Manny Machado on us and gets to the majors within two years - but that’s not a deal breaker by any means, as the Astros are certainly gearing up for another wave of talent a few more years down the road.
It’s highly unlikely that Vientos turns into Machado and it feels wrong to even make that comp - but it is difficult to remove comparisons of two young draft-eligible shortstops with high-upside builds and bats and a South Florida heritage.
Vientos has a ton of room to grow into his frame, adding to his upside and offensive projection. He’s already getting rave reviews for solid bat speed and projects as a plus average, plus power guy at his ceiling, which is pretty exciting for a guy who’s just 17 years old and playing high-level high school ball. He has a nice, quiet swing that reminds be a bit of Alex Bregman’s approach at the plate.
Vientos’ defensive upside looks less exciting - he doesn’t have any issues with his arm or ability to be a good infielder, but he’s not a great runner. MLB.com has him as at 30-grade speed which would limit his defensive range, so it’s very likely he moves to third base long-term. Other publications, like this Perfect Game report, seem more optimistic about Vientos’ overall athleticism and defensive upside, but it’s hard to get excited about a 30-grade run tool for a young infielder and how that might translate to the professional level. If his speed and athleticism don’t end up as advertised, Vientos will have to reach even more of his offensive upside to be a good big leaguer.
Projected Draft Range
Even with the offensive upside, Vientos probably won’t work his way into the top of the draft. He’s definitely behind prep infielders like Royce Lewis and probably a few others and could go in the mid to late first round.
Does he make sense for the Astros?
I would say yes, but with some hesitation. The Astros will have a lot of strategy involved with their large draft pool and slew of picks - it may not make sense to take a prep guy who’s probably four or five years from the majors at slot value (especially after taking Forrest Whitley last summer), unless he falls to pick #53 for some reason.
Will he sign?
Vientos has a verbal commitment to stay in South Florida and play for The U. If he gets popped in the first round he probably signs.
Major League Comparison
I feel terrible for referencing Vientos’ and Machado’s similarities earlier - if he projected as the same guy most people would have him in the top five or ten picks, which isn’t the case. His profile and probable draft position puts him closer to Delvin Perez, a similarly built prep infielder who St. Louis drafted at 1.23 last summer. A nice prospect with a lot of upside , but not a surefire big league who can easily reach that upside.