Luis Guillorme Showing Why He’s A Valuable Bench Piece
Last night, Luis Guillorme came up as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning of the game between the Mets and Indians with the score tied 1-1. On a 1-2 pitch, he would hit an Adam Plutko fastball for a go-ahead RBI double. While impressive, it was not his biggest pinch hit of his career.
That came in the August 10 game against the Washington Nationals. In that game, Guillorme came up as a pinch hitter leading off the eighth inning with the Mets trailing 3-2. Against Fernando Rodney, Guillorme would hit his first career homer tying the game at 3-3 sending Citi Field into an absolute frenzy.
These are just two snippets from Guillorme’s brief career, and they are certainly highlights. When you dig deeper into Guillorme as a player, you see why he was able to deliver in both spots. Moreoever, you can see why he has been such a good pinch hitter in his brief career.
While you may be inclined to focus on Guillorme’s career .209/.269/.273 batting line, you should dig a little deeper on what remains a brief sample size with him having just 119 career plate appearances. Taking an even smaller sample size, Guillorme has hit .296/.387/.481 with two doubles, a homer, four RBI, and four walks in 31 pinch hitting appearances.
There’s no doubt in his limited pinch hitting appearances Guillorme has produced. Certainly, you can argue those numbers are high for him. After all, it’s much higher than the numbers he has overall as a Major Leaguer. However, it is slightly closer to the .305/.396/.434 batting line he has had across two seasons in Triple-A. No, we should not expect those numbers in the Majors, but rather, we should look at what he does well to help fuel those numbers.
When Guillorme was ranked as the Mets 13th best prospect heading into the 2018 season, Baseball America noted he was a contact oriented spray hitter with a patient approach at the plate. John Sickels when he was with Minor League Ball classified Guillorme as someone who “makes contact, controls the zone.”
The numbers have bore out those scouting reports.
In his career, Guillorme has numbers you’d expect from a contact oriented hitter walking 7.6 percent of the time and striking out 11.8 percent of the time. He has used the whole field pulling the ball 28.1 percent of the time, going up the middle 30.2 percent of the time, and going the other way 40.2 percent of the time.
Ultimately, Guillorme is a guy who is coming up to the plate looking to make contact, and he is looking for a place to put the ball. When you consider how he’s a good bunter, he is somewhat reminiscent of what Luis Castillo would do at the plate with the key difference between the two being Castillo being much faster.
Ultimately, with Guillorme’s approach at the plate and with his tenacity, he is going to give you a good at-bat every time he steps to the plate. In the late innings, he is someone you can trust to put the ball into play. That’s a much bigger deal than many my realize with many teams putting a premium on high velocity and high strikeout rate players in the bullpen.
In addition to his adeptness at making contact and giving a good at-bat late in games, he is also a very good defender up the middle. He has sure hands, and he is quick on the pivot when turning a double play. While not a fast runner, he is a smart base runner. Like with him in the field, you trust him on the base paths.
Overall, Guillorme is a player who is going to give you a good at-bat late in games, which is part of the reason why he has been a successful pinch hitter so far in his career. He is a very good defender up the middle who you want on the field. He is a good base runner who is not going to have a TOOBLAN out there. Ultimately, he is exactly the player you want on the bench when you are building a team.
For seemingly the first time in his career, he is getting a real opportunity to be that bench player, and he is succeeding. Considering his skill set, we should anticipate his continuing to succeed in this role.