Recently invited to big league camp for spring training is little-known Guillorme, a small shortstop with excellent defense who often plays above the sum of his parts. Guillorme is that guy you like despite what his actual ceiling holds, and provides a great show in the field.
L/R, 5’9″ 190 LBs, 9/27/1994 (22), RD 10, 2013 Draft, 296th overall
|2014||19||-1.3||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A||60||275||70||10||0||0||17||6||4||18||28||.283||.340||.324||.663|
Guillorme is the best defensive shortstop in the Mets System, and that’s actually saying a lot. Between two other great defensive shortstops, Amed Rosario and Milton Ramos and he there is a lot of talent to go around, but Guillorme is a true defensive wizard. His hands show themselves as some as the quickest around, and his heads up plays are some to really watch while he’s in the field. However, his offense has a low ceiling as I will explain later.
Touted as the top defensive shortstop in the 2013 draft, Mets nabbed him in the 10th round, 296th overall and gave him a $200,000 signing bonus. Known for having a glove, Luis has lived up to billing, but because of a lack of strength, his bat lags far behind. Guillorme joined the Gulf Coast Complex League in 2013 after being drafted and posted a .258/.337/.283 slash line in 41 games while striking out and walking both 17 times. The next season, the Mets sent him up to Kingsport to anchor the middle infield of a more advanced rookie league, and hit .283/.340/.324 with 10 doubles in 57 games. The good performance earned him an appearance to Full-Season A ball for three games at the end of the season, where he played in the following year.
This produced his best year offensively as he hit .318/.391/.354 while playing at home in the worst offensive park in the minor leagues at Historic Grayson. This superlative performance earned him South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player honors as well as All Star Honors in the Post Season All Star Game. During this superlative year he posted career highs in all three slash lines, doubles (which was matched the next year), stolen bases, walks, and BB%. He was second in batting average and fourth in on-base-percentage.
This past season,Luis received the honor of playing for Team Spain in the World Baseball Classic (despite being Venezuelan-born). However, Luis did not build on his success in St. Lucie with a .263/.332/.315 slash line, but did improve on his power with a .052 Isolated Slugging percentage with 16 doubles, two triples, and hit his first career home run.
So let’s put one thing out there that has been the elephant in the room about Guillorme’s offense: he has no power, whatsoever. On the 20-80 scale, it’s a straight 20 (which usually translates to 2-3 home runs a year). Guillorme does not hit much for extra bases, and doesn’t hit many in the air either, as he hit 60% of his balls on the ground last season. His career high of extra base hits in a season was 19 total. This gives a large cap on his offensive capability overall.
He does have a nice short swing that he employs that makes him able to get to the ball pretty easily and does not strike out much. In addition, he controls the strike zone well and has a pretty good idea of what to do at the plate posting solid on-base percentages and knowing how to draw a walk.
As for defense, he’s incredible. Some of the best hands you’ll ever see, I don’t think the scouting cliche of “sure handed” really covers it, and likely undersells it. Guillorme does a good job of just finding the ball and getting rid of it quickly, and shows incredibly effective ways to get the out. Unfortunately, while his hands are fantastic, his arm only grades out to average to above-average, while plus is preferable from the shortstop position. His overall speed is fringe-average to average, which doesn’t help his range much, nor his value as someone with no power in terms of securing a major league starting role.
Overall, this is a tough profile to promote for anyone trying to justify a future in the bigs for the guy. The top skill for Luis is his ability to field, which is absolutely elite, but besides that, his bat isn’t great, and without pop, it’s really not a nice ceiling. If Guillorme had plus speed, his ceiling would have been much more desirable with the fact that he can get on base and has great discipline at the plate. Here’s one guy who would like to see him out-play his ceiling and become something interesting at the major league level, whether in utility, or another role. We should see him a bit in the field in spring training, but he will be starting shortstop in Binghamton in the 2017 season.
Photo Credit: Just Mets, Michael Baron.
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