Infielder Luis Guillorme played 35 games for the Mets this year in two stints, before being optioned back to Las Vegas on August 13. The young prospect did not have a big impact on the team, especially at the plate, with a slash line of .209/.284/.239, dangerously close to the “Reyes line.” The slick-fielding infielder did not make many misplays in the field for the Mets, (just one error), but the case can be made that management misplayed his role with the team.
As mentioned, Guillorme has excellent defensive skills, MLB Pipeline this year rated him as the best fielding shortstop among prospects, and he is also very good at second base. Yet with the Mets this year he did not play a single inning at shortstop. Amed Rosario got the bulk of the time at short, as was deserved. But whenever he got an off day or was replaced late in a game, it was always Jose Reyes, a worse fielder and batter than Guillorme, who played short. That does not make sense.
What position did Guillorme play the most this year? Oddly enough it was pinch hitter. He pinch hit in 15 games, and only once did he remain in the game after hitting. He got only three hits and no walks in his 15 pinch hit appearances, so he did not contribute much in that role.
He played 14 games, or parts of games, at third base. Much of that play was when starting third baseman Todd Frazier was on the DL. Guillorme was used at second base eight times, and he was a pinch runner just once, on May 11, in his very first appearance of the season.
Guillorme may not be a Lou Brock on the basepaths, but he has decent speed, he did rack up 18 SB in 2015 at Savannah in A ball. Yet on a team with notoriously slow runners such as Wilmer Flores, and Jay Bruce, among others, Guillorme had just the one pinch running episode in the roughly three months he was with the team.
Guillorme was almost never used in a role that was tailor-made for him, specifically as a late inning defensive replacement in a close game when the Mets were leading. He tended to be used more in a mop-up role, for example in the horrendous 25-4 loss to Washington on July 31 he replaced Asdrubal Cabrera late in the game. He also replaced Cabrera late on June 18 against Colorado, this time the Mets were far ahead and won 12-2. But he does not appear he was used at all as a defensive replacement in those games where Jacob deGrom pitched so well but ended up with a no-decision or a loss.
So, to sum up, Guillorme was not used at all this year at his best position, shortstop, was basically not used much as a late inning defense to preserve a lead, and was only used once as a pinch runner when he was one of the faster players on a team deficient in speed. He was used the most as a pinch hitter, a role he was not suited for considering his lack of power.
In the grand scheme of things how the last man on the bench was deployed did not mean all that much, the Mets were destined to lose a lot of games during the stretch Guillorme was with the team no matter how he was used. But I do think he could have been used more effectively.