Some players aren’t recruited. Some commit to a college before the end of their freshman year of high school. This is the case with Mark Vientos, the highest-ranked high school shortstop in this year’s MLB draft.
Mark Vientos 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Vientos is a lanky, 6’4″ shortstop out of American Heritage High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Tipping the scale at a mere 170 pounds, Vientos earned First-Team All-American honors from Rawlings and Perfect Game. He has taken turns at both shortstop and third base. A good student, he verbally committed to University of Miami (FL) after his freshman year.
Vientos height and frame make him look like a ballplayer. At a mere 17 years and six months old on draft day, he is not done growing. If he bulks up, he will need to move to the hot corner instead of shortstop. However, he does have the tools for that position. He possesses raw hitting ability that can be developed over time. He projects as plus average and plus power bat at the plate. As a premier hitter in high school, opposing pitchers pitched around him. With development, his offensive skills should turn him into a solid two hitter. MaxPreps.com covered twenty-six games in which he appeared during his senior year. During those games, he hit .417 with a OBP of .467.
Defensively, he has the arm strength and soft hands necessary to play the hot corner. He accounted for 23 putouts and 39 assists during the MaxPrep games.
Vientos does not have the lateral movement or lateral speed to play shortstop at the higher levels. In the games covered by MaxPreps, he committed six errors, which is high for a premier shortstop. He needs to level his swing out and hit more line drives. He swings with too much uppercut at the moment. Time with hitting coaches will help cure this.