Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:00 AM
Next up on my series of prospect posts is resident golden glove-esque middle infielder Luis Guillorme, currently on the St Lucie Mets A ball squad this year down on the Mets farm. Luis is a 21 year old former 10th round pick out of Coral Springs Charter High school (which is like 2-3 miles from my home BTW).
Luis is now closing in on 1000 career professional At bats and 250 games all with the Mets organization. Guillorme has been touted as an above average defensive minded shortstop, with concerns about ability at the professional level to hit consistently.
However, during his minor league career, spanning 4 different affiliates, Luis has done very well at making consistent contact. He's listed as having a total of 100 walks vs 129 K's, which I find to be very positive, and which is why his OBP throughout his career has remained positive and productive while hovering over .350. The concern brought up has been the power, or lack thereof. Even I was surprised to check the stats online and see that Luis, whom I've personally seen show excellent range and quickness in the field, has zero total triples in his career. He also has zero career homers, and 31 doubles in his career.
Speaking of career, the offensive numbers are being brought up about the slick fielder due to his incredible run through the Low A level club last year, when he finished second in the entire league in hitting, batting .318 and a very sexy .391 OBP. So who needs power?
This year Luis is off to a slow start offensively. He's also currently playing second base, instead of shortstop where, again, he's incredible defensively. And Luis will absolutely remain at 2B for as long as highly touted possible next mega prospect Amed Rosario finishes his time at the level before perhaps heading to the next level in the coming months ahead.
The picture taken in this post was at a game I attended a few weeks ago. Luis has remained in the top half of the St. Lucie Mets batting order, usually I believe hitting second. More than just worrying about power (hey, he's a middle infielder, they can't all be 30 homer guys), my concern was aggressiveness. In his first at bat, things went well, he 'slapped' a chopper over the head of the third baseman for a base hit. However, throughout the remainder of the game, I worried about seeing Luis take too many 'meatballs' down the middle of the plate. The rest of the night appeared to be filled with Luis being down 0-1, 1-2 in the count and did not record a hit the rest of the game.
I also did not get a chance to see Luis pull the ball at in the game, whether by hit or even with a foul ball that I could remember. I also was hoping to maybe see him attempt a bunt for a hit (he's a lefty batter so that much closer to first, etc.). Pre bulk up, in 2015 one Mr. Jeff McNeil (of course I mentioned him again) was also tiny little guy ( Luis is tiny people :) ) who was aggressive from the first pitch of every at bat, laid down a bunt, stole bases and hustled like crazy at all times. And that's what I want from Luis. I want him attacking all fastballs that come his way in the count. I want his excellent range in the field to equate to more stolen bases (listed with 31 total throughout his career combined) and continue to take full advantage of his ability to make consistent contact by driving the ball more.
All in all, you simply can't teach what he can do in the field. He's got the range. He has the arm strength. He has the overall quickness and hands to turn two from either SS or 2B position. He's a guy who can and will get to some of those balls we Mets fans have seen over the past few years get hit up the middle or deep into the hole for base hits because the middle infielders couldn't catch up to them or were positioned specifically to their own strengths rather than playing straight up due to lack of above average range.
And he also plays into the Mets philosophy of hitting in that his OBP has been solid throughout his career, so there is definitely something here. And again, the young man was just crowned atop entire league for his offense last year at the lower level. I guess the point now is to try and be strict, unbiased and not paint a rosy picture of every Mets minor leaguer I enjoy getting a chance to watch. So these are my thoughts.
I like Luis the fielder. I love his OBP and contact rate. I love love he and his family on twitter :) And so I think we should definitely continue to follow his career path, and where it may lead. Again, his primary position is manned by Amed Rosario. His current position is being manned quite nicely by a veteran, with a possible stud in waiting at AAA level. So now the question is where he goes from here. Is he another Wilfredo Tovar? Is he the infielder version of Jason Tyner? I'd like to see how the season plays out offensively, especially when Amed Rosario moves up and Luis presumably moves over to the shortstop position. And again, I want AGGRESSION.