The Mets have made a variety of roster moves over the past week amidst a series of trades and injuries. Infielder Luis Guillorme is one of those recalled to the Mets, he is now playing his second stint with the club so far this season. Most experts seem to peg him as a utility player, able to give excellent defense at second, short, and third, but without enough offense for him to be an everyday player in the majors. Perhaps the experts are right, but there is hope of some higher upside than that.
There is very little debate about his defensive abilities, which were perhaps first highlighted by his remarkable 2017 spring training snatch of an errant bat as it flew into the dugout. Nearly every scouting report gushes about the quickness of his hands, rated by most as among the best in professional baseball, and his other defensive tools such as arm and range are very good as well. His range factor for shortstop in AAA this season was 4.29, and that figure is in the ballpark with the kind of RF posted by Gold Glove winner Rey Ordonez in his heyday with the Mets.
As to batting, Guillorme has been overmatched quite a bit at the big league level this year. His slash line is a microscopic .177/.250/.210, in a small sample of only 62 AB in the majors. Looking at this AAA numbers this year with Las Vegas, he has slashed at .301/.376/.404 rate. Of course, batting figures tend to be inflated at Las Vegas, due mainly to the high elevation there. That higher altitude mostly helps flyballs, and the power-challenged Guillorme only had a 20.7% flyball rate on batted balls this year at Las Vegas, so the case could be made that his offensive stats are not as overly inflated by the Vegas factor as some other players stats are.
Guillorme has shown a good eye and plate discipline in his climb through the minors, in 2017 he posted a .376 OBP, the same number that he posted this year in AAA. His lifetime minor league OBP is .362. He also sprays the ball around the diamond, this year in the minors he had a 33.1% pull rate, 23.2% rate to center, and 43.7% to the opposite field. Guillorme is only 23, so there is time for him to further hone his offensive skills.
After his most recent recall, manager Mickey Callaway inserted Guillorme into the starting lineup against the Pirates on Sunday and received an immediate dividend from the decision. Guillorme slapped a two-out infield single, then scored the game’s only run on a double by pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Due to his lack of power, Guillorme is probably not destined to be a star player. But as a plus fielder at premium positions, who has the potential to be a high OBP guy in the majors, Guillorme could end up being a solid contributor for the Mets, and possibly even a starter.