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Getting to know Mets shortstop Luis Guillorme

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Luis Guillorme will be one of the best defensive middle infielders the Mets have had since Rey Ordóñez.

Chris McShane

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Luis Guillorme immigrated to the United States along with his family in 2007, settling down in Davie, Florida. He enrolled in Coral Springs Charter High School in Coral Springs, Florida and quickly became known to scouts in the area, who began referring to him 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. In 41 games with the Kingsport Mets in 2013, he hit .258/.337/.283. The following season, he hit a combined .283/.340/.324 in 60 games split between the Kingsport Mets and the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats. The shortstop started the 2015 season with Savannah and broke out in a big way, hitting .318/.391/.354 and stealing 18 bases, all while playing stellar defense. The campaign earned Guillorme South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player honors.

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 did not make the major league club and was assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. In 128 games, he hit .283/.376/.331 for the Ponies, while flashing his trademark leather. Despite hitting .306/.447/.417 in 36 at-bats and almost claiming the title King of Spring Training, Guillorme was assigned to the minor leagues to start the 2018 season. Appearing in 28 games for the Las Vegas 51s, he hit .300/.394/.433, leading the team in on-base percentage through those 28 games.

At the plate, he utilizes an open stance. His load is short, giving him a quick path to the ball. He displays excellent bat control and is a hard out, taking pitches, fouling off pitches and wearing out opposing pitchers while getting himself in good counts. 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, a strategy more familiar in the Deadball Era than today. That is not to say that he does not have power- he does, and hits balls over the outfield walls during batting practice with as much regularity as his teammates. “I can drive the ball,” Guillorme said. “Now that I’ve gotten a little stronger and a little older I know I can do it. It’s just a matter of implementing what I do in practice in the games.”

In the field, there are very few defenders that are as impressive as Luis Guillorme. “He’s really good in the field,” Mickey Callaway said of Guillorme during spring training. “Fundamentals are going to be huge for him on defense. It’s good to make the flashy plays, and he’s got the talent to be able to make those really hard plays. It’s going to come down to making the solid, everyday, routine play. If he can do that, he’s going to be valuable.” With skills developed in Caracas in a room specifically cleared out by his parents for their son to play in, Guillorme has almost everything you look for in a middle infielder: 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.

A baseball rat who is constantly putting in the time and working hard, Guillorme is respected as a leader on the field and is easy to root for.