Luis Guillorme is far from the flashiest homegrown player on the New York Mets, but he has worked his way up since getting drafted in the 10th round in 2013 and has put himself in a position to make the big league roster out of spring training again this year.
On a team loaded with some impressive names, Guillorme figures to play a vital role for the club in 2020. The 25-year-old made great strides last year after making the Opening Day roster for the first time in his young career, and he proved that he belongs at the major league level, as Kenneth Lavin said in his season review.
Guillorme is a defense-first player who is not known for his bat, but his stats were respectable all-around in a utility role in 2019. After appearing in 35 games in 2018 and posting a -0.2 fWAR with a .209/.284/.239 line and a 52 wRC+, he improved those numbers to a 0.2 fWAR last season while hitting .246/.324/.361 with an 87 wRC+ in 45 games.
He yo-yoed up and down between Triple-A and the big club, spending time with the Mets in April and then again in July before coming up for good in August and September. He improved significantly in the second half and saw his OPS climb from .399 at the end of July to .684 by year’s end.
Guillorme enjoyed his most memorable big league moment in August when he launched his first career home run against Fernando Rodney and the Washington Nationals to tie the game in the eighth inning—a game the Mets went on to win at a pivotal point in their playoff push. While he is not someone who will provide a lot of power, he is coming off a year in which he set a career-high mark with seven home runs in Triple-A. Overall, last year was Guillorme’s best offensive year to date, as he posted a .307/.412/.452 line with a 128 wRC+ in 69 games in Triple-A.
In the field, he spent time at second base, third base, and shortstop, the latter of which makes him invaluable since the club doesn’t have any natural backup options for Amed Rosario with Jed Lowrie injured. In part because of this lack of shortstop depth, he saw the most time at short in 2019 and put up solid numbers. Guillorme finished the year with a 1 DRS and a 14.2 UZR/150 in 48.2 innings, along with a 2 DRS in 21 innings at second and a 0 DRS in 33 innings at third. He has provided his fair share of dazzling, replay-worth plays in the field and is overall a sterling defender who can be trusted whenever he’s in the field.
His positive work at short almost certainly assures a spot for him on the Opening Day roster this year. Besides Guillorme, Eduardo Nunez is the only other player vying for a spot on the team that has experience at shortstop, and the two can co-exist on the roster with the team lacking in depth options to play the left-side of the infield. As the bench continues to take shape, the pool of NRIs the team is auditioning during spring training mostly consists of outfielders, giving both Nunez and Guillorme better-than-average odds at making the big club.
So even if Guillorme is not the flashiest player in the world, he is an essential piece to the club, and the type of player that every contending team could use. His defense is a given, but if he can continue to build on the offensive progress he has made over the last few seasons at both the minor league and major league level, there will be a spot on this team for him this year and in the foreseeable future.