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Luis Guillorme is not to be overlooked

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One of many middle infielders in the organization, Luis Guillorme’s massive defensive chops will give him an edge.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins
Luis Guillorme
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After coming to the United States from Venezuela, Luis Guillorme enrolled in Coral Springs Charter High School in Coral Springs, Florida and quickly became known to scouts in the area as a human highlight reel. The Mets selected the shortstop in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, and he forwent his commitment to State College of Florida to sign with the Mets for a $200,000 signing bonus, slightly over slot value for a 10th round pick.

Guillorme soldiered along in his first few years in the system, making more of an impression with his glove than his bat, but he broke out in a big way in 2015, while playing with the Savannah Sand Gnats. That year, he hit hitting .318/.391/.354, stole 18 bases, made playing shortstop look easy, and was named South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player. The following season, he hit a respectable but not-as-impressive .263/.332/.315 with the St. Lucie Mets, but despite the regression with his bat, he was more than worth penciling into the lineup every night thanks to his glove. In 2017, Guillorme made headlines with a spectacular catch during spring training at major league camp, but the 22-year-old was assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and hit .283/.376/.331, while flashing his trademark leather.

There are very few defenders that are as impressive as Luis Guillorme. As a plus shortstop, he has almost everything you look for in a shortstop: a quick first step, soft hands, smooth actions, and instincts that almost border on supernatural. His arm and range are only average-to-above-average, but thanks to his other defensive attributes and baseball intangibles, everything plays up a grade higher.

His bat is another matter. As a hitter, Guillorme would be more at home during the Dead Ball Era than today, evidenced by his minor league career .328 slugging percentage and .041 isolated power. His general approach at the plate is to slash balls away, down the left field line or past the infielders on the left side of the diamond. Though bunting is a strategy of similar hitters, he is a below-average runner, making it hard for him to leg out bunts.

While he has put on some muscle in the past year or two, the shortstop has failed to produce much power at the plate, and likely never will—though in batting practice, he does show the ability to send balls over the fence, much more than you would think by his slugging percentage and isolated power. Guillorme has used an atypical approach in today’s day and age, but he’s made it work at virtually every level he’s played at thanks to his excellent barrel control and his good eye at the plate. He also spent time over the offseason working on hitting the ball in the air, as has been the trend around the game.

He will begin the 2018 season with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, but Guillorme will likely be the first—or among the first—promoted to the major league team should the a middle infield need arise. His bat might never be a difference maker, but Luis Guillorme’s defense can be a game changer. Among current players, in the majors or the minors, there is nobody I would rather have playing second base or shortstop in a tight and tense situation.