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Mets News: Luis Guillorme is making a serious push for more starts

Mar 8, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme (13) fields the sound ball of Washington Nationals second baseman Starlin Castro (13, not pictured) in the 1st inning of the spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme (13) fields the sound ball of Washington Nationals second baseman Starlin Castro (13, not pictured) in the 1st inning of the spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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Luis Guillorme has come a long way from being best known as the infielder with great hands. The first glimpse many of us got of him involving the well-bearded, slick-fielding shortstop snag an errant bat out of the year at spring training a few years ago. We have seen a lot more of him with the New York Mets since and fans are beginning to wonder exactly how much of him and we’ll get to experience in 2021.

Guillorme was unable to break through and become a viable shortstop candidate last year. The traditional two-man battle between Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez never did turn into a triple-threat. However, as a utility infielder playing all over the place, Guillorme showed off his glove and bat regularly.

In 68 plate appearances, Guillorme batted .333/.426/.439. I would cite sample size but it’s about the same number of opportunities he had in his two prior seasons with the club. Certainly not enough to put him in the everyday lineup, Guillorme made his case last year and continues to grab our attention as a possible starter somewhere down the line.

How the Mets can use Luis Guillorme in 2021

Guillorme is unproven over the long haul so I don’t exactly see him becoming a starter. However, this might be the year to see what he can accomplish with a little more playing time. He has been one of the more exciting players this spring, Sunday’s 22-pitch walk and spectacular defense on the first play of the game as two examples.

https://twitter.com/SNYtv/status/1371177732562898945

There’s an obvious answer as to where Guillorme could play more. Third base is currently occupied by J.D. Davis, a fine right-handed hitter with a brick in his glove.

The Mets haven’t seemed high on Davis all winter long. Surely shopped around on the trade market, nothing ever came to fruition. He’s still with the Amazins and should get the majority of starts at the hot corner until he might lose the job. He’ll have to become a complete butcher in the field or stop hitting entirely for this to happen.

This is where Guillorme comes in. Always known for his glove, Guillorme might be the guy to start every so often at third base against a right-handed pitcher. Another option, Guillorme is someone we might see in a Mets starting lineup when a known groundball pitcher such as Marcus Stroman takes the mound.

I don’t want us to get to a point where pitchers are demanding a personal third baseman. After all of the weirdness in 2020 all over the world, it might not be the most ridiculous thing anyone asks for.

Could Luis Guillorme steal the majority of starts from J.D. Davis?

Ask enough people on Mets Twitter this question and you’re going to find a huge faction that believes so. Guillorme will get more opportunities this year, but Davis will also have to nosedive to land on the bench.

There’s also a little competition on the bench for Guillorme. Jonathan Villar is a more established big league player. He could also become a contender for some starts at third base. It’s dependent on how each performs. Expect the situation to be fluid.

No one can say with any certainty what Guillorme can become as soon as this year. If last year’s progression was any indication, he can at least become a contributor at the plate while serving as one of the better defensive replacements in the league.

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Guillorme won’t get to take the field in the first inning every day this season. He’ll still get involved in a lot of the action.

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