During the 2017 season with Double-A Binghamton, Mets prospect Luis Guillorme saw his organization-mate and fellow middle infielder Amed Rosario reach the big leagues. He watched and hoped that perhaps he could follow in Rosario's footsteps at some point in the near future.
"That would be awesome," said Guillorme, the Mets' No. 11 prospect. "Being in Binghamton, we were literally across the street, it's two hours away. It was always exciting, if something happened up there, you could be there right away."
While that might sound like an awfully long street to cross, it's all relative. After stops in St. Lucie, both for the Gulf Coast League in 2013 after he was taken in the 10th round of the Draft and the Florida State League in 2016, Kingsport in 2014 and Savannah in 2014 and 2015, just being in the same state as his parent club got Guillorme's pulse going a bit quicker.
"It's right there," Guillorme said. "It's the closest I've ever been to it."
To climb even closer, Guillorme headed a couple of thousand miles west to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. Even after 128 games and 481 Eastern League at-bats, the 23-year old was more than happy to head to the desert. "It was a great honor," Guillorme said. "I felt like I had a good year, and them telling me I was going to come over here, I was really happy about it. You're always looking forward to it at the end of the year, hopefully they say there's a little extra baseball. I'm glad it happened."
While Guillorme continues to get work on both sides of second base, his defensive acumen has never been in question. But he is striving to improve his offensive game while in Arizona. He hit .283 in 2017, right in line with his career .285 average, but he feels there is more he can do. Power is likely never going to be a part of his game -- he has two career homers and a .328 slugging percentage -- but that doesn't mean he can't provide a little extra-base thump more often.
"I'm mostly trying to keep being consistent with my swing, repeat the same swing every time," Guillorme said. "Drive the ball a little more. That's really what I'm trying to work on at the moment."
Doing so could make him a more serious offensive weapon considering he seems to have the on-base skills down pat. Guillorme's .376 on-base percentage in 2017 upped his career mark to .361, and he drew more walks (72) than strikeouts (55) while making that often-difficult leap to the upper levels of the system. It's clearly something the left-handed hitter takes pride in.
"I take pride in taking those counts deep," Guillorme said. "I'm looking at pitches, making sure I get my pitch. At the end of the day, my job is to figure out a way to get to first, then figure out a way to get to second, then let the other guys worry about driving me in."
In all likelihood, Guillorme will move up to Las Vegas in 2018 (the Mets' Triple-A team will move to Syracuse in 2019). That's the same path Rosario took, and while he's not the same caliber of prospect, the similarity motivates him to join Rosario in Queens soon.
"It does, because he was in the same spot I was last year, playing in Double-A, then this year from Triple-A to the bigs," Guillorme said. "It makes you feel, 'I'm almost there. I'm almost there, I almost got it.'"
Mets hitters in the Fall League
Kevin Kaczmarski, OF -- Capable of playing all three outfield positions, though he's largely played the corners, Kaczmarksi continued to be an on-base machine in his first taste of Double-A in 2017 (.370 OBP for the year; .376 in his career since being a ninth-rounder out of Evansville in 2015). There isn't much power to speak of (.418 career slugging), but he did reach double-digits (15) in stolen bases for the third summer in a row.
Tomas Nido, C -- Nido had a breakout with the bat in 2016 in the Florda State League (.320/.357/.459), but his offense regressed with the move to Double-A in 2017 (.232/.287/.354), though he did make his big league debut. He's working to rediscover his consistency in the batter's box while continuing to refine his work behind the plate after throwing out 45 percent of would-be basestealers in Double-A.
David Thompson, 3B -- The Mets' fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2015 is coming off of a solid second full season in pro ball. He spent the year with Double-A Binghamton and set a career high with his 16 homers, all while improving his walk rate and decreasing his strikeout rate from the previous season.
Mets pitchers in the Fall League
Mickey Jannis, RHP -- Initially drafted in the 44th round of the 2010 Draft by the Rays, Jannis was signed by the Mets as a Minor League free agent in July 2015 after he had become a knuckleballer. He was sent to the AFL that year as well, and he posted a 2.48 ERA in 29 innings. The 5-foot-9 starter is coming off his first successful go-round in Double-A, where the 29-year old posted a 3.60 ERA in 122 1/3 IP.
Tim Peterson, RHP -- Taken by the Mets out of Kentucky in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft, the 26-year-old reliever is coming off his best year as a pro, as his 1.14 ERA and .176 batting average against in Double-A earned him a brief, albeit unsuccessful, bump up to Triple-A in late May.
Matt Pobereyko, RHP -- Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the D-backs in July 2016 out of independent ball, Pobereyko was released by the organization that October. He went back to the Frontier League this season before landing a gig with the Mets in June, pitching well enough in the South Atlantic League (3.05 ERA, .205 BAA, 13.9 K/9) to earn an invite to Arizona to see how the 25-year-old fares against a higher level of competition.
Kyle Regnault, LHP -- After pitching in college ball at the University of Rhode Island, Regnault spent three seasons in the indy Canadian-American Association. The Mets signed him in the summer of 2015 and sent him to the AFL (1.17 ERA, 12 K in 7 2/3 IP). He split the year between Double- and Triple-A in 2017, finishing with a combined 2.78 ERA and .229 BAA.