Guillorme May Play An Important Role In 2019
Last year, Luis Guillorme struggled at the Major League level. In 35 games, he had a -0.3 WAR and a 53 wRC+. His defense, which was his calling card, was far from the Gold Glove level many expected it to be. In fact he would have just a 0 DRS in 41.0 innings at second and a -3 DRS in 98.2 innings at third. To make matters worse, even though he was on the 40 man roster, the Mets would not call him up in September.
Heading into the 2019 season, the odds were really stacked against Guillorme. Not only did the organization seem to sour on him, but the team seemed to move past him. During the offseason, the team not only signed Jed Lowrie, they would also sign Adeiny Hechavarria. The team would also add Dilson Herrera to an already crowded Syracuse infield mix.
Seeing the Mets decisions, it was fair to question whether Guillorme would remain a part of the organization for a full season let alone get another opportunity at the Major League level. Guillorme took it upon himself to answer those questions.
While the Mets were finishing another .500 season, Guillorme traveled to Europe to play in the Super 6 Baseball Tournament. In the tournament, he would hit .333/.435/.944 with a triple, three homers, and six RBI, and he would lead Spain to the bronze medal. That would be just the start of an offseason where Guillorme would work hard to get himself ready for the 2019 season.
Put another way, despite the considerable odds stacked against him, Guillorme came to Spring Training ready to force the issue. Everyone would soon take notice:
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) March 3, 2019
In 18 games this Spring, Guillorme has hit .361/.465/.556 with four doubles, a homer, and four RBI while playing well defensively. With his play on the field, he would outlast all of his competition for a roster spot. That included Herrera, and it would eventually include Hechavarria. He is now poised to make the Opening Day roster, and he is in a position to impress while Lowrie is on the Injured List.
This means Guillorme will once again have an opportunity to impress the Mets. If he builds off of what he did well last year, he will.
Specifically, Guillorme was quite good off the bench. In 15 pinch hitting attempts, Guillorme was 3-for-11 with a double, four walks, and an RBI. Overall, he would enter 21 games as a sub, and he would hit .375/.524/.438 in those games. One of the reasons why is despite his power, he makes a high rate of contact at the plate, which was evidenced by his 4.1 percent strikeout rate at the Major League level last year.
More than that, Guillorme has always been a smart player who has gotten the most out of his talent. As we are now seeing, he is responding to getting knocked down by coming back a better player. We have seen him play well defensively, and we have seen him perform well as a pinch hitter. Ultimately, he has proven he has the talent to play at the Major League level.
Now, he will have an opportunity to prove he can play well at the Major League level while being a key component of a postseason contender. Based upon his entire professional career, we may see him have a similar impact on the Mets that Joe McEwing once had for the 1999 and 2000 Mets.