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Confident, comfortable Mark Vientos feels 'drastically improved' since Mets return

Sep 13, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Mark Vientos (27) is congratulated by teammates for hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

During his first few stints at the big-league level, Mets top prospect Mark Vientos saw himself in more of a bench role.

After playing every day and thriving in Triple-A, he failed to get into a groove in the majors. Vientos was still hitting the ball hard, but he wasn’t producing like his usual self, hitting just .178 with eight hits and one homer and 14 strikeouts over 45 at-bats.

The young slugger grew frustrated with his lack of results and ultimately found himself sent back down to Syracuse. Vientos quickly got back into a groove and worked his way back to the majors.

With the Mets ultimately falling out of the playoff race, and fellow top prospect Brett Baty back down in Triple-A, he slid into an everyday role in the majors. With that Vientos has looked like himself and is developing confidence at the majors.

“It’s all about the mindset,” he told reporters postgame Sunday. “A few months ago things were different mentally, but I’ve been playing and just getting comfortable and just trusting my work.

“It feels good to be out there every day. I like playing in games. Playing baseball every day is fun for me.”

Vientos reached base in all but two games during New York’s homestand, including his first-career three-hit performance in Sunday’s 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds in Sunday’s series finale at Citi Field.

He’s been putting together much better at-bats and continues to mash the baseball, with all three of his hits passing 100 mph Sunday. Vientos is now hitting .283 with a triple, three homers, six RBI, a .333 OBP, and a .824 OPS over his past 15 games.

“I feel good,” he said. “It feels good that things are improving. I’m just focused on doing damage because that’s the type of player I am. It’s just trusting my work and going out there and competing.”

Though the Mets aren’t playing for much down the stretch, it’s nice for fans to see the youngsters taking advantage of their opportunity. With a strong finish to the season, Vientos just might help the Mets find some clarity in their DH situation for next year.

The Florida native will look to keep things going back home as the Mets open a three-game set against the Marlins on Monday night.