Luis Guillorme is playing like he belongs in the majors

Spring training is primarily a way for the teams’ players to get sharpened up in anticipation of the regular season. It also serves as a chance for marginal players to play their way onto the 25 man roster, and one player who has shown he deserves a spot on the Mets is utility infielder Luis Guillorme.

Guillorme did get a shot with the big club last year, and the result was not pretty. To be fair he was probably not utilized as well as he could have been, i.e. too much pinch hitting and not enough defensive replacement reps. Guillorme was overmatched against MLB pitching last year, but he was only 23. In 2019 Guillorme is a year older and hopefully wiser as well.

Guillorme is not a player who is going to be a star, but he shows some skill sets that are valuable, and unusual, for a utility infielder. Specifically Guillorme is a plus fielder at second, shortstop, and third base and at the plate he gets on base, a lot.

His ST slashline is an impressive .355/.474/.548, in 16 games and 31 AB. So far he has drawn five BB and he has knocked three doubles and one homer. His power number is definitely an outlier and unsustainable, but he has put up good OBP stats in his climb through the minors and his OBP this spring is extremely impressive.

Although Guillorme has two errors so far this spring, I don’t think very many people are worried about his defense. He has made plenty of highlight reel worthy plays, not even counting his 2017 ST dugout snatch of a wayward flying bat. Scouts have said he not only has the best pair of hands in the Mets organization but he ranks very high in that regard all across baseball.

At the plate the left-handed Guillorme is very patient and he has a great batting eye and good bat control. As a result he draws a lot of walks, boosting that OBP. He has even taken a page from the Mets master OBP star Brandon Nimmo, in that Guillorme has had two HBP so far this spring. He hits to all fields, but the left-handed batter hits to the opposite field a lot.

One physical change may help him this year as well. The 5’10” Guillorme looked just a bit chunky last year, this season it was reported he had dropped about 12 pounds. That could pay dividends in defensive range and basepath speed.

In most years a spring like Guillorme has had would practically guarantee a roster spot on the Mets, but the Mets put an off season premium on depth and the infield is now pretty crowded. Guillormes’ main competition is probably Veteran Adeiny Hechavarria, also a defense first utility infielder. Hechavarria has had a decent spring (for him) although not at the level of Guillorme.

The Mets face a dogfight in the NL East this year, and having a player like Guillorme who provides above average defense at premium positions and who has shown good discipline at the plate could provide an edge for the Mets.

12 comments for “Luis Guillorme is playing like he belongs in the majors

  1. Pal88
    March 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

    If Brodys line about taking the best players north is true, then taking Guillorme rather than Hechavarria is a no brainer…it will be interesting to see how this plays out

  2. March 19, 2019 at 11:13 am

    If Hech makes the team he could make five million when Guillorme is better and Gio got a minor league deal that could be worth three mil, bad job by Brodie.

  3. Metsense
    March 19, 2019 at 11:47 am

    With Lowrie out, the Mets need a backup for Rosario and Guillorme has earned the spot. Hechavarria would be expense ($3M) and would have to be added to the 40 man roster. He is not worth that price and I think Guillorme is a better value.The Mets control him for next six years with two options. This roster spot is only temporary until Lowrie heals.

  4. TJ
    March 19, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    This is one of several intersting decisions the MEts will need to make over the next several days. I cannot recall the last time so many roster spots had strong competition. These are good problems to have, for a change.

    Given the cost and the temporary nature of the roster spot, I think Guillorme has a leg up. But, it is somewhat troubling that they may not have a true backup on the roster once Lowrie and Frazier are healthy. Rosario will need to log major innings in this scenario. Hopefully, Cano can help him with that bulldog mindset of playing every day.

  5. MattyMets
    March 19, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    As I understand it, Hehevaria is guaranteed $3mm if he’s on the opening day roster but I think he can opt out if he doesn’t. Can he be traded? He is more experienced and more of a sure thing than Guillerme, but unless Rosario suffers a serious injury neither guy would expect to see a lot of playing time. McNeill or Lowrie can spell Cano at second and Lowrie, Frazier and Davis can all play third.

  6. TexasGusCC
    March 20, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Guillorme has the roster spot locked down, from a financial standpoint, from a logical standpoint and from a performance standpoint. From a financial standpoint, he is getting at least $3MM less than Hechavarria. From a logical standpoint, why use a 40 man spot on Hechavarria when in three weeks you need to release him to make room for the Frazier/Lowrie combo, when you can just send Guillorme down because he has options. From a performance standpoint, it’s pretty clear cut.

    Also, Hechavarria has been a weak offensive performer. So, while he can stand at SS, the Mets gain nothing by keeping him: No roster flexibility, no offensive boost, and certainly they don’t allow their kids any promotion – a major Aldersonian move.

    I find the biggest competition to be a pending roster decision on Mesoraco. TDA is not anywhere near ready to play a game, and if you keep Alonso on the MLB roster because every game is important, how do you keep TDA and let Mesoraco go? Seems like the more difficult decision is what to do with TDA.

    • TexasGusCC
      March 20, 2019 at 12:57 am

      To add to the above TDA situation:
      -If TDA agrees to opening on the DL and staying in extended spring training, then he can make his $3.6MM salary. The Mets would need to feel very secure that TDA would be able to perform at some point in the first half or why pay the money? If they aren’t secure, you cut him.
      -If TDA refuses the plan, he can be released to enjoy his 1/6th of the $3.5MM, and hope that teams that won’t even sign healthy and accomplished players to MLB deals, will give one to a catcher that has never had greater than a 1.6 bWAR. Good luck there.
      – The Mets can carry all three catchers, just because, and option a very deserving player… the dumbest plan on the planet.

    • John Fox
      March 21, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Gus,
      I’d like to see Mesoraco make the roster to open the season, under rated defense and occasional power and of course, several of the starters love pitching to him

  7. Eraff
    March 20, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I see no reason that Travis would buck any plan to stay…..so I’ll just focus on Guillorme.

    There is no Roster Spot for a week offense “fields ok” middle infielder. Jose Iglesias has an MLB 700 ops and a very big Glove Rep as an everyday SS— a ROY runner up and an Allstar appearance eaned him a Non Roster Invite to Reds Camp!!!

    Wake up and smell the Analytics!!!! Guillorme has a 700’ish Minor League OPS and he was entirely unimpressive with Bat and Glove in a brief MLB stint.

    I never dismiss a Guy like this—but he’s a few stripes short of “Belonging” in the Major Leagues. He’s under control and available for Injury Replacement duty

    • TexasGusCC
      March 20, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      Eraff, whether it’s Guillorme or it’s Hechavarria, it’s only until both Lowrie and Frazier are back from injury. It’s a rather small thing. We just analyze everything to the enth degree because… that’s what we do.

      • March 20, 2019 at 2:56 pm

        Ha! I’m hoping that a Guy like JD Davis “Pops” and is able to provide a young and versatile RH Bat….with power. That’s a now or soon timetable

        Hech is a guy who could play everyday…and not hit much….an MLB level SS.

        Analytics, with the corresponding Shifts, have made SS an At’em Ball Catch and Throw Job. You can live for 15-20 games a year with Lowrie at SS…. a 2 week player at AAA is the defensive replacement—LG

        • MattyMets
          March 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm

          Eraff – I know there will always be somebody on the DL, but when all infielders are healthy it’s hard to envision Davis getting much playing time. If Alonso and/or Smith takes over first, Lowrie is the third baseman and Frazier backs up both, plus McNeil is in the mix at third as well.

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