Luis Guillorme has gotten his chance and is running with it, working wonders for Buck Showalter and the Mets in 2022.
Once a fringe roster player whose playing time fell into question, the 27-year-old infielder has become an invaluable part of the organization while putting together a career season.
He did it again on Monday night in a vital series opener against the Atlanta Braves, driving in two runs that were headlined by his second home run of the season — a solo shot in the eighth inning off Darren O’Day to give the Mets an insurance run at 3-1 after Max Scherzer’s advantage was cut in half in the previous half-inning.
Guillorme, who hadn’t played in more than 69 games in a single season over his first four years as a pro, is batting .309 with a .770 OPS in 178 at-bats. His previous career-high was 132 last season.
His two-hit night on Monday was the 17th time this season that he recorded a multi-hit game — and his second in as many games after going 3-for-3 against NL Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara. Over his first four MLB seasons, he had a combined 17 multi-hit games.
“I finally have a routine that works for me,” Guillorme said last month. “[In the past] I took too many swings in the sense that every time I felt that I was in a good spot I was like, ‘I can go a little more than this.’ And then I would get out of whack.”
His defensive versatility and dependability has been just as important, appearing mostly at second base this season but also getting reps at shortstop and third base.
Despite ranking 177th in Major League Baseball in defensive innings played, his defensive runs saved above average (4) is tied for 57th-best while creating a flashy double-play tandem with Francisco Lindor.
“Louie has been dialing up just about everything we need, that is why we have been talking about him,” Showalter said Monday night (h/t Mike Puma, New York Post). “We get to see it every day as far as value to a team, you can make a case of him being as valuable as anybody for what successes we have had so far.
“He’s made it easy on me. When we have people down he just gives me a guy I can count on to move around.”