It’s been a tough year for Luis Guillorme. The glove-first (or glove-only) 24 year old watched Jose Reyes get 250 plate appearances in 2018 that could have been his chance to show he has a shot at a utility role in the majors. And then in case he got the idea that 2019 could be his year, the Mets went out and signed Jed Lowrie, Danny Espinoza, and Adeiny Hechavarria. All while Andres Gimenez climbs the prospect lists and the upper minors.
It’s a safe bet that if Guillorme sees a major league pitch this year it’s because (a) he was traded or (b) everything has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
The defensive whiz has never been much of a hitter at any level, though he did manage a .304 average and a .797 OPS in the hitters’ haven of Las Vegas last year. He’s just not the kind of player who is likely to force his team’s hand with a big minor league breakout and the 53 wRC+ he put up in his limited stint in Queens last season won’t do him any favors.
If you squint (and put him in another organization), you can see the makings of a serviceable bench piece. He never strikes out and while extra base hits will be few and far between for him, his control of the strike zone could lead to the kind of on base numbers that keep you in the majors.
Most notably, the glove is the real deal, and a team could do a lot worse than the Ordonez-esque Guillorme for a backup infielder. He can play shortstop, second, or third and look good doing it, which is more than a lot of Mets can say. The team’s series of moves this offseason, though, show a distinct lack of interest in using him in that capacity, as they’ve made sure he’s several men down on the depth chart.
But a strong start to the year in Syracuse could score him a supporting role in a midseason trade and that might be the best outcome for the young infielder, who has never had that top prospect sheen. He’s probably destined for a Quad-A existence, but right now, the Mets aren’t likely to give him even that.