David Thompson struggled in his pro debut a year ago. Things are markedly different this season.
The Mets' No. 26 prospect smacked four hits and drove in three runs as the Class A Columbia Fireflies defeated the Greenville Drive, 13-9, on Thursday.
Thompson started quickly, grounding a single to center field in the second inning and crossing the plate on a hit by Jeff Diehl. In the third, the 22-year-old drove in Kevin Kaczmarski with an RBI single to left field. Two frames later, he singled to center to score Vinny Siena and came home on Dash Winningham's double. After flying out to right in the seventh, Thompson plated Siena with a single to center. Joe Tuschak also came across on Luis Alexander Basabe's throwing error on the play, and Thompson later scored on a wild pitch.
"I just saw some good pitches," the third baseman said. "I was just focusing on swinging at my pitch and putting some good swings on balls."
Thompson, whose four-hit game matched a career high, has raked this season for Columbia, hitting in 13 of 15 games to open the season. The University of Miami product started out with an 11-game hitting streak, and is currently batting .327 with an OPS of .916 while leading the South Atlantic League with 16 RBIs.
"I've really done a lot of work in Spring Training with our hitting coordinator, Lamar Johnson, and our hitting coach here, Joel Fuentes," he said. "It's been nice to hit with guys on base, like Siena and Kaczmarski. It's always nice to come up with guys on base. It's a lot more fun to have an opportunity to get some RBIs and drive some runs in."
A fourth-round pick by the Mets a year ago, Thompson was sent to Class A Short Season Brooklyn following the Draft where he scuffled, compiling a .218/.268/.320 slash line in 59 games for the Cyclones.
"Baseball is a game of failures," he said. "I'm always trying to have a positive attitude. I definitely struggled a lot last year. I think it's good to have your struggles, and I'm glad it was early. I learned to keep going to the field every day, try to stay positive. This game can beat you up a little bit, but you have to come to the field with the right attitude."
Siena finished with four hits as well, including a pair of doubles, and drove in two runs. The second baseman is tied for ninth in the league with a .348 average.
"Vinny is just one of the best hitters I've played with," Thompson said. "He's an absolute stud. Swings at good pitches, battles every at-bat and I'm trying to learn from him. We get to the field early every day and work together."
Josh Ockimey homered and drove in two runs for the Drive.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich.