South Florida scouts know that Luis Guillorme is a human highlight reel. A native of Venezuela, Guillorme actually played on the national team as a 12-year-old before moving to Florida, and ever since scouts have been marvelling at his defensive prowess. Simply put, he’s a defender who consistently puts on a spectacular show in the middle infield.
He has almost everything you look for in a middle infielder. He has very quick feet, soft hands, smooth actions, and solid arm strength. And despite having no better than average footspeed, he has great range, in part because of a very quick first step and tremendous instincts. He plays defense hard, charging ground balls aggressively and displaying sure confidence in his defensive ability and great on-field awareness. He can be the sort of player who captains an infield. There are still things Gullorme has to learn at the position, but they’ll come in time.
Now, most kids who can play short that well go early, even if their bats are questionable--Oscar Mercado can’t hit, but he went 57th overall to the Cardinals as a shortstop who can field. Why did Guillorme fall to the tenth round, despite being signable? The bat isn’t just questionable; it’s so questionable I feel pretty sure it’s not going to happen, and he lacks the tools Mercado has to make up for it. At the plate, his swing is busy and inconsistent, and he has all the power you’d expect a 5-foot-9, 165-pound prospect to have. It’s tough to get a handle on the swing, because it looks different on every swing, with a severe tendency to overstride. His batspeed is just average, and he has poor pitch recognition and plate discipline. There really isn’t anything to recommend him for at the plate. And he won’t be an asset on the bases, either, with just mediocre speed.
A lot of scouts have compared Guillorme to Omar Vizquel, but he doesn’t have Vizquel’s speed or quick hands at the plate. The comparison that’s going to come up the most for Mets fans is Rey Ordonez, another terrible hitter with no better than average speed who nonetheless was occasionally a good player because of his defensive value. I’ll caution Mets fans from getting too casual with the reference. Guillorme is a very good defender, but he’s not quite there yet, and he doesn’t have Rey’s arm strength--in other words, I can’t see Guillorme throwing out a runner at the plate from left field while on his knees.
The good news is that Guillorme has already signed for $200,000, a little over slot. His commitment was only to a JuCo in Florida, so teams knew he’d be looking to sign. The player I’ll compare Guillorme to is Wilfredo Tovar, another good defender in the system who is problematic as a hitter.