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.