Mets/non-Mets matchup: Luis Guillorme and David Fletcher
In limited playing time since 2018 with the Mets, Luis Guillorme has become unofficially known as “the bearded magician” thanks to his sparkling defense in Queens. Guillorme has never played enough of a season to qualify for a Gold Glove nomination, though if his defense were extrapolated out over a full year, that could certainly be in the cards. Over in Anaheim with the Los Angeles Angels, David Fletcher has also manned multiple infield positions with ease since 2018 while flying under the radar nationally (he, too, has never been nominated for a Gold Glove). He and Guillorme have both made many “web gems” in their young careers.
Though Fletcher’s bat may be a bit more potent than Guillorme’s (Fletcher is a lifetime .292 hitter, compared to Guillorme at .267), Guillorme did bat .333 in 29 games for the Mets last season, indicating that his hitting might not be as much of a weakness as originally thought. Neither player hits for much power; Fletcher has 10 career home runs in 1103 at-bats, while Guillorme has just one in 191 career MLB at-bats.
Nonetheless, their solid infield instincts and contact-hitting prowess has made them both valuable roster pieces on either side of the country. Amidst a lineup containing the power threats of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, and Albert Pujols, Fletcher doesn’t need to be a “big bopper” and can stick to his strengths to help the team win games. Similarly, in New York, Guillorme plays with formidable power hitters such as Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, and the newly acquired Francisco Lindor, among others, so his lack of power is comparatively not a weakness. Both players also rank as among the fastest runners on their respective teams.
Fletcher recently signed a five-year, $26 million extension with the Angels. The Mets will have several impending free agents to negotiate with over the next couple of years, so it is unlikely that reworking Guillorme’s contract will be high on their list of priorities. Still, he and Fletcher’s career trajectories thus far have been similar, and they both fit a “scrappy, defense-first infielder” roster profile that has made them fan favorites in their respective cities.
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If there’s one thing I learned after writing this article, it is truly that no two Major League Baseball players are perfectly alike. Even pitchers with seemingly identical arsenals or infielders that both catch everything in sight will have different ticks and quirks to their games. Part of the fun of baseball is that there is so much room for individual technique and flair between the lines. Even as a Mets fan, it is fun to watch players on other MLB teams and appreciate how they remind you of or take after your own guys.