Mets give updates on top prospects Mark Vientos, Khalil Lee


Mets prospect Mark Vientos batting close-up at 2021 spring training

With the start of the 2021 minor league season opening later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mets prospects have been staying ready in Port St. Lucie.

The season begins on May 4, and third baseman Mark Vientos and outfielder Khalil Lee are among those who have stood out this spring.

Said Mets farm director Kevin Howard about Vientos, who has shown improved plate discipline:

Mets give updates on top prospects Mark Vientos, Khalil Lee

“I think his mindset is advanced,” Howard told Sam Dykstra of MLB.com. “I think he deals with things that come up that other players might react negatively to. I think he deals with those things more maturely than most hitters his age. I’ve really been impressed by how he makes adjustments, not only at-bat to at-bat, but pitch to pitch. He knows why he chases. He knows his swing and why he’s doing what he’s doing. All of that is like an older player.”

Said Howard about Lee, who struggled offensively during big league spring training, striking out at an alarming rate:

“He’s working on staying athletic,” Howard told MLB.com, “using that athleticism to get himself into better positions, getting himself behind the ball, keeping his bat in the zone for a longer time so he can be a little bit off but still get extra-base hits. I think at times his effort and his [desire] to be great can turn into the swing getting in and out of the zone. So he’s trying to put himself in better positions where he’s able to not be perfect but still adjust to pitches and drive the ball.”

Mets OF Khalil Lee

Mets OF Khalil Lee

Lee’s big league debut could come in about a year, but he still needs plenty of work in the minors, per SNY contributor Jacob Resnick.

Meanwhile, Resnick referred to Vientos as the “underdog of the organization’s top prospects.

Howard also discussed outfield prospect Alexander Ramirez, whom SNY contributor Joe DeMayo has ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Mets’ system and whose MLB ETA is 2014.

“He’s just an unbelievable, exciting kid to watch,” Howard told MLB.com. “Very natural and athletic in the outfield. Very explosive with his swing. He’s a natural center fielder. He doesn’t need much coaching out there offensively. There are going to be some things that he’s going to have to improve but, for now with a guy like him, you just let him be natural and explosive and let him figure things out on his own.”

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