Please see our player page for Mark Vientos to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Like any good Coney Island carnival ride, the Mets’ 2022 season made fans feel some delirious heights of human existence followed by the doubtful dry heaves of an autumn hangover. The future looks promising though, assuming the club can secure this window by re-signing Edwin Diaz and Jacob deGrom. 

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2023 | Highest Level Played | Expected Time of Arrival

1. C Francisco Alvarez | 21 | MLB | 2022

Though Alvarez was included on the playoff roster, Manager Buck Showalter went with Darin Ruf at DH for the most part, and Ruf happens to be under contract through 2023. Catchers James McCann and Thomas Nido are under contract through 2024. Alvarez battled injuries throughout 2022 and had ankle surgery this week. It’s possible or even probable that the plate-appearance seas will part once he’s back on the field and healthy, but the playing time outlook is a little tricky at the moment. I’m going this long way around to indicate that I think the concerns are real, but my primary read on Alvarez for a long, long time is that he’s an everyday major leaguer, and probably a middle-order bat for a contending team. Might be an opening to buy the slight dip in his perceived value coming off an injury riddled season. Scherzer and deGrom, if he comes back, will probably throw the guys they know, but Alvarez could be catching two or three times a week coming out of spring training and mixing in at DH as Buck sees fit. If I’m the Mets, for what it’s Wuertz, I’m working that rolodex all winter to move McCann and Ruf. Could clear about 15 million in a dream scenario where someone takes McCann off your McHands. Would also clear two crucial roster spots, or one if you had to take some money back in the form of a busted pitcher or something. They simply have to retain deGrom, is my thinking, and that might take 50 million dollars, so any effort to make that spend a little easier on old Penny Twitterbags and the ownership group could go a long way.

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH)

Giants’ President Farhan Zaidi puts some soil on top of a newspaper clipping of Jonathan Villar’s DFA’ing. Waters it every day for five weeks straight, then what slowly crops up from it is David Villar. Do they have to now feed and take care of David Villar or does he take care of himself? Are there rules to caring for a newly sprouted David Villar? I don’t know, but there’s nothing Farhan Zaidi can’t do. Zaidi is the original Zaddy, amiright? What is a Zaddy? I have no idea. In order to give you some cold hard facts (facts that I place in an Igloo at the foot of my bed), I went to look at the Giants’ lineup to make sure David Villar was an everyday starter, and that team is so hilariously bad. Their lineup is, “What happens when reasonably thought-out platoons go very bad.” Joc Pederson should be in a platoon? Okay, and so should Lewis Brinson. LaMonte Wade Jr.? He’s gotta be in a platoon, and so should Austin Dean! J.D. Davis? Oh, he must be in a platoon. Great, because Wilmer Flores has to be in a platoon too! The only problem? One of these platoons would be fine, but to have seven of them? Ha, my gawd, bro. That’s awful. Someone said they could have an entire lineup of platoons, and no one asked if they should. So, is David Villar in a platoon? I don’t think so. He seems to be the only one not in a platoon. Of course, the only reason any of this matters is because he’s been crazy hot, and has big-time power. In 84 games in Triple-A, he hit 27 homers, and .275. In the majors, his average is likely not going to ever be that high, but the ball off his bat might. Bam! Hashtag nailed it! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Fresh goes better in life with Vientos, fresh and full of life! Ahh…The Metsmaker! Sorry, that was stuck in my head. Now, hopefully, it’s stuck in your head too. Mets called up their next great hitting prospect, Mark Vientos, after Starling Marte went to the IL. Can Vientos play outfield? Absolutely not. Can Vientos run? His speed has been described as “an 80-year-old baby crawling with tennis balls on its knees.” Can Vientos hit bombs? To the freakin’ moon! He kinda reminds me of a young Evan Longoria. Now take everything you’ve thought about Longoria over the last seven years, scrub it from your brain, and think about Longoria as if this is 2016. Your brain in 2016, “Rays should lock this Longoria guy up for another ten years! He’s amazing! Wait! They let Longoria go? Wow, what a mistake! They just let a perennial 30+ homer, .270 hitter go! Rays will be in last place for the next decade. What a bunch of losers!” So, your 2016 brain is kinda remembering correctly. Longo was good at that point. Mark Vientos can be good too. Prospect Itch has more concerns about his batting average in his top 100 prospects. For this year, do I want Mark Vientos in a redraft league? No, I’d want Eduardo Escobar. Or maybe even Evan Longoria. Anyway. here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The endless summer of fantasy baseball season is now a three-week, autumn sprint. While our game itself feels faster, dynasty values move slower. Some of us are balancing football and baseball and life. Always forget to make time for that life piece. Some are fighting the fatigue of being more than six months into this game. And never mind that infinite spring of pining for this season that almost wasn’t. Been a long journey, is all I’m saying. Everything inside me is ready to rest. Or at least shift gears to a game that’s less work. On a weekly basis, I can manage four fantasy football teams in approximately 1/1000th of the time it takes me to run a single dynasty baseball roster. But that’s not how the math plays out in The Real, of course. Football feels fresh, so I click over to those pages even if I’ve got nothing to do there. With so many people’s focus points in flux, dynasty baseball players can get good returns for their time invested over these last few weeks. 

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With the trade deadline behind us, teams have taken shape for their stretch run. Some teams made some small moves to address areas of concerns. Some teams went out and made some trades like the Padres, where they consolidated five teams into one massive Superteam that could invade a country. “Hey, what’s up Mexico? Or should I say ‘Que paso?’ We’ve got Trent Grisham holding your El Presidente hostage and we’re going to be needing all of your natural resources.” Sorry, that’s a spoiler alert, because that’s how the show Narcos ends, with the Padres invading Mexico. Then some other teams took a more conservative approach and just simply brought up a top prospect. Enter: the Dodgers’ Miguel Vargas. Here’s what Prospect Itch said about him, “I’ve been trying to trade for Vargas in several of my leagues for a long time, and I’m not giving up now. In 83 AA games, the 6’3” 205 lb Vargas slashed .321/.386/.523 with 16 HR and 7 SB. Math isn’t my first language, but that would prorate out to an acceptable fantasy campaign, I think. His best trait is a double-plus hit tool that lets his solid power play up. Only thing he’s missing is a left hook to knock out Grey.” Okay, not cool. This year, Vargas did more of the same, going 15/123/.291 in Triple-A with a 14.6% strikeout rate. For a 22-year-old, those numbers are muy bueno, as the Padres would say after invading Mexico. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rangers RHP Jack Leiter is a good place to start because he exemplifies what’s  weird about the Futures Game. Leiter hasn’t earned his spot on the field (6.30 ERA), but that’s not uncommon to this game, which different organizations use for different reasons on a player-by-player basis. It’s not an All-Star game, in other words. It’s not even an all-famous game, although that’s what gets Leiter on the roster. It’s not even really a combination of the two. Some organizations might send a middle reliever, like Baltimore did with Marcos Diplan in 2021, who the team DFA’d the other day, almost exactly a year after Diplan gave up home runs to Brennan Davis and Francisco Alvarez in Coors Field during the sixth inning of last year’s Futures Game. 

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We don’t spend much time with the stragglers around Prospect World, but a lot of highly ranked guys have struggled this season. That sentence reads like a timeless nothing-statement when I see it on the page, but it’s a pretty accurate description of my thoughts as I scoured the landscape to find the best 100 minor league players for the fantasy game. 

If you think of a name that you figured would be here, there’s a good chance they’ve scuffled to start this season. The Nicks, Yorke, Gonzales and Pratto, missed the list in surprising fashion. Perhaps I was more demanding of them because my human-person-walking-around name is also Nick, and I am subconsciously more disappointed with them than I would be with a non-Nick player. Seems unlikely, but you never know. 

Also a pretty good chance the player(s) you’re looking for were covered:

either here in the Top 25

or here in the Top 50

or here in the Top 75.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Anyway, the buns are in the oven. No changing the recipe now. Smells pretty good already, now that the prep’s done and the kitchen’s clean. Ish. Clean as it’s gonna get anyway. Let’s dig in. 

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When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.

Let’s bring this thing home!

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Thirty third basemen thumping? What is this the Twelve Days of Christmas?

Well, yes and no. The gifts in that song, except for the golden rings, seem awful, and the third base position has gone down something of a  barren road the last few seasons. Vlad Jr. wound up at first base. Nolan Arenado wound up in St. Louis. He’s still fine, and Anthony Rendon is still good, probably, when healthy, and there’s still elite bats at the top, but in general, this position needs a talent infusion from a fantasy baseball perspective, and it might be about to get just that. Are there five golden bats in this group? We’ll have to peel our way to that truth one day at a time. 

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Get your bids in: these Mets are for sale!

It’ll be fascinating to see the fate of GM Brodie Van Wagenen under new ownership. Luckily for him, the team is obligated to pay his clients several million dollars regardless of his own future. Wild times in New York these days, but their scouting and development teams have done well over the past few cycles, so the system remains solid despite the purge of Jarred Kelenic, Simeon Woods-Richardson and more. 

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I’ve been estimating the time of arrival for every prospect in these team previews, but I’m not sure that adds much value in this case. There could be help on the way to Metropolis, but it ain’t Superman, and it won’t arrive for a long, long time. 

That said, the Mets are seeking accelerants. Ronny Mauricio followed the Amed Rosario path of aggressive assignments but fared poorly in the Midwest League at 18. I’ve seen the parks in that league. They’re cavernous and cold. That early-season, frozen-air fun of Spring in the Midwest bested Malcom Nunez and Jhon Torres in 2019, so Cardinals pulled them back. Worked with them. Sent them to warmer, softer climes. The Mets went the other way, leaving Mauricio to fight it out for 116 games.

The plan has its downsides, but I like the idea of trying to accelerate a player’s timeline if he meets the challenge. If a player gets red hot for a month in low A, he might as well be promoted to high A. If he gets demolished at high A for the rest of the season, he repeats the level the following year. If he instead has another hot month, bump him again to AA. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe the logistics make this impossible. But imagine an organization where everyone knows one hot month is all it takes to climb the ladder. I don’t know. Maybe it’s too soft a factor to make a blip. Anyway, I think these Mets are being very aggressive in playing the age-to-level lottery. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?