Luis Guillorme and Thomas Nido lead the fearsome foursome of prospects that will represent the New York Mets in the Arizona Fall League.
The New York Mets are sending four prospects—three of their top 30, per MLB Pipeline—to get some extra work in during the Arizona Fall League. All four happen to be teammates with the team’s Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinMedia) August 30, 2017
They’ll join prospects from the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants on the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Let’s take a deeper look at the Mets’ prospects who will fill out that roster.
Defense is going to be Guillorme’s calling card to the majors. As you can see in the above video, he’s got the skills to deliver highlight-reel plays anytime a ball is hit in his general direction. Multiple Gold Glove Awards could be in the 22-year-old’s future.
That’s largely dependant on how his bat continues to develop. Guillorme is devoid of power, with only two home runs and 69 extra-base hits over parts of five minor league seasons.
But he’s shown the ability to hit for average (.284 career BA) and reach base consistently with a career .360 on-base percentage and nearly as many walks (201) as strikeouts (231).
Guillorme has posted a .281/.375/.329 slash line over 123 games, walking more often (69) than he strikes out (53). While he lacks the speed to hit atop a lineup, those on-base skills make him a solid choice for the two-hole.
If he’s got a future with the Mets, it’s likely at second base. For all his defensive wizardry, they’re not going to move Amed Rosario off of shortstop.
Questions remain about whether Nido will ever hit enough to more than a backup catcher in the big leagues. He’s struggled at the plate this year, hitting .237 with 28 extra-base hits (8 HR), 59 RBI and a .657 OPS in 98 games.
Behind the plate, though, it’s a different story. The 23-year-old has steadily improved his defensive skills, developing into a solid, all-around defender, one with a strong accurate arm. He’s thrown out a career-best 44 percent of would-be base stealers this season.
With the Mets facing an uncertain future at the position—Travis d’Arnaud continues to frustrate and Kevin Plawecki isn’t full-time material—a strong showing in the AFL could find Nido forcing his way into the team’s plans for 2018.
Thompson is your prototypical slugging third baseman—lots of pop and not a lot of plate discipline. Next to Travis Taijeron, the 24-year-old might have the most power in the system.
He’s never going to draw comparisons to the likes of Nolan Arenado or Manny Machado, but Thompson’s defense continues to improve and should be adequate enough for him to stick at the hot corner in the majors.
It’s unlikely that his AFL performance will speed up his timeline to the big leagues, and if the Mets decide to splurge on a free-agent third baseman this winter (Mike Moustakas), he could become trade bait.
But Thompson has shown enough that he could be the team’s long-term answer at third base, given David Wright’s uncertain future.
Like Guillorme, Kaczmarski is more of a gap-to-gap hitter with an advanced approach at the plate. Power isn’t a big part of his game, though he’s got more than his infield counterpart.
Unlike Guillorme, Kaczmarski has enough speed to cause problems when he gets on base. He’s gone 15-for-23 in stolen base attempts this season, 49-for-72 over parts of three seasons.
The 25-year-old doesn’t project to be an everyday player in the majors, but more of a solid fourth outfielder that’s capable of playing anywhere his team needs him.