The 3rd Man In

Mark Vientos determined to win state championship

Mark Vientos

Living in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Mark Vientos has been a die heart University of Miami fan since he was young. Growing up about 30 minutes from the university’s campus, Vientos always wanted to attend The U to continue his education and baseball career.

A well-regarded senior prep shortstop, Vientos committed to the University of Miami on August 20, 2014.

“Miami has always been my favorite college,” Vientos said. “I grew up a Hurricane fan. My parents are Hurricane fans. I always wanted to go to that college. It’s my dream college.”

Although he is eager for the opportunity to attend the University of Miami, beginning in the fall, Vientos will also have a chance to start a professional baseball career. MLB.com ranks Vientos as the 62nd-best prospect in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.

“I’ve thought of it, but right now I’m just focused on winning a state championship and winning games for my team,” said Vientos about his future. “I’m trying to have fun. I’m just trying to finish strong.”

A senior shortstop with a 6-foot-4 and 190-pound frame at American Heritage High School, Vientos is an intriguing prep position player with a high ceiling.

Vientos’ best trait is his hitting ability. A right-handed hitter, Vientos has room to grow offensively and shows definite power potential.

“My hit tool is my biggest strength right now,” Vientos said. “I use my bat speed and my discipline (to have success). I feel confident anytime I got up to bat. I know I can square up any pitcher, and I know I can drive any ball.”

Defensively, Vientos has above-average arm strength and solid skills at shortstop. But some scouts believe Vientos will move to third base in pro ball because he isn’t overly athletic.

Vientos doesn’t mind moving to third base, but hopes to stick at shortstop long-term, he said.

“I try to improve on my quickness and mobility at shortstop,” Vientos said. “Trying to get quicker and faster.”

Vientos’ high school team, American Heritage, is in the state playoffs. Even with the draft in sight, as it starts on June 12, Vientos has only one goal on his mind.

“My biggest goal is to win a state championship,” Vientos said. “I’ve never been to a state final four or a state championship. That’s a big honor and that’s my main goal.”

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READ: 2017 MLB Draft: Profiles on top prospects

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