Luis Guillorme earned the South Atlantic League MVP award last season with Savannah. Baseball America named him the best defensive infielder in the New York Mets organization.
Yet Guillorme finds himself having been dislodged from shortstop for the time being with St. Lucie. With prized shortstop prospect Amed Rosario repeating in the Florida State League, Guillorme temporarily has shifted to second base.
“In high school, when I played summer ball, me and my best friend -- he’s at FAU [Florida Atlantic University] now, Stephen Kerr -- me and him would switch on and off at second and short every game. And then when I transferred to a different high school my senior year, the same thing happened -- short and second,” said Guillorme, a 10th-round pick in 2013 out of Coral Springs (Florida) Charter High School. “So, for me, it’s really not that big of an adjustment. I can play it. It’s just matter or repetition and getting angles and stuff. It’s really not a big transition.”
The second-base exposure should not be a bad thing for the slick-fielding Guillorme’s career. He should return to shortstop full time, or close to it, when Rosario gets promoted to Double-A Binghamton this summer.
“What they told me is we’re not giving up on short,” Guillorme said. “This is just a side thing for the moment -- I’ll still get reps there. But we’ll see how it goes.”
Playing in the same World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament as Colombia’s Dilson Herrera, Guillorme started at shortstop for Spain. He went 1-for-7 with an RBI and two walks and also turned a highlight-reel defensive play at Rod Carew National Stadium in Panama.
Guillorme’s grandparents are from Spain, and he holds dual Venezuelan and Spanish citizenship. Guillorme moved from Venezuela to Florida at age 12. He currently has permanent-resident status in the United States and expects to apply for citizenship in the next year or two.
“I’ve been here a long time -- 10 years, almost,” the 21-year-old Guillorme said.
Guillorme hit .318 with 16 doubles, no homers, 55 RBIs and 18 steals in 446 at-bats last season with Savannah. He also walked 54 times, giving him a .391 on-base percentage.
“I’m always proud of my defense,” Guillorme said. “I didn’t make that many errors (15). I pretty much made the same amount as the year before with a short-season team (15 with Kingsport). What I did with the bat, it probably shows some people my bat will play. One of the things I’m actually pretty proud of is my average with men in scoring position (.353). It was pretty high, so I was happy about that, especially in the two-hole.”
Guillorme noted he is not going to be a player who slugs double-digit homers.
“My job is to figure out a way to get to second base,” he said. “If I can get those doubles and those stolen bases up, that would be the big adjustment I’m trying to do this year.”
Average: Tomas Nido, St. Lucie, .474; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .462; Vinny Siena, Columbia, .444; Johnny Monell, Vegas, .417; Ty Kelly, Vegas, .400; John Mora, St. Lucie, .375; Matt Oberste, Binghamton, .375; David Thompson, Columbia, .350; Brandon Nimmo, Vegas, .333; Amed Rosario, St. Lucie, .321.
Homers: Roger Bernadina, Vegas, 1; Marc Krauss, Vegas, 1; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, 1; Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 1; Jeff McNeil, Binghamton, 1; Amed Rosario, St. Lucie, 1; David Thompson, Columbia, 1.
RBIs: David Thompson, Columbia, 7; Johnny Monell, Vegas, 4; John Mora, St. Lucie, 4; Milton Ramos, Columbia, 4; Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 4.
Steals: Amed Rosario, St. Lucie, 3; Champ Stuart, St. Lucie, 3.
ERA: Casey Delgado, Columbia, 0.00; Ricky Knapp, St. Lucie, 0.00; Thomas McIlraith, Columbia, 0.00; Tyler Badamo, Columbia, 1.50; Robert Gsellman, Binghamton, 1.59; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 1.80; P.J. Conlon, Columbia, 1.93; Sean Gilmartin, Vegas, 2.45; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 2.70; Joe Shaw, Columbia, 3.00.
Wins: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 2.
Saves: Paul Sewald, Vegas, 1; Akeel Morris, Binghamton, 1; Robby Coles, St. Lucie, 1; Jimmy Duff, St. Lucie, 1; Corey Taylor, St. Lucie 1; Ty Bashlor, Columbia, 1; Johnny Magliozzi, Columbia, 1.
Strikeouts: Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 8; Joe Shaw, Columbia, 8; Robert Gsellman, Binghamton, 7; Chase Ingram, Columbia, 7.
Herrera, who has been limited to serving as a designated hitter and pinch hitter with Las Vegas so far, was due to begin a throwing program this week. Herrera had some shoulder irritation coming out of spring training, but an MRI reportedly showed no issue. He should appear at second base soon.
With the signing of 32-year-old Rene Rivera, four catchers currently are assigned to Vegas. Johnny Monell and Rivera are on the roster, while Nevin Ashley and Jeff Glenn are not active at the moment.
Left-hander Duane Below, who would have broken camp with Vegas, is absent because of a family matter. Stolmy Pimentel, temporarily in the 51s’ rotation, gets the start on Wednesday night.
The extra weight Binghamton infiedler Jeff McNeil put on during the offseason already showed a tangible benefit. McNeil homered in the B-Mets’ opener. He had only four homers in 1,086 career at-bats entering this season.
Binghamton’s L.J. Mazzilli, a natural second baseman, made his second career appearance at third base on Sunday.
Akeel Morris, selected as B-Mets closer, notched his first career Double-A save with a perfect ninth on Friday.
Catcher Tomas Nido, an eighth-round pick in 2012 out of high school in Maitland, Florida, is off to a torrid start with St. Lucie. He’s hitting .474 (9-for-19) with two RBIs and a walk. Nido has hit safely in all five games, including producing two hits in each of the opening four games. He turned 22 on Tuesday.
Left fielder John Mora has a season-opening six-game hitting streak for St. Lucie.
St. Lucie reliever Tim Peterson has struck out six of the nine batters he has faced in three perfect innings.
Amed Rosario is flashing speed and smarts on the bases. He has notched three stolen bases so far this season. He had 12 in 103 games last year.
The Mets had gone 8,019 games over a half-century before Johan Santana finally delivered the team’s first no-hitter. Well, it took the Columbia Fireflies until the third game of their existence to produce the feat. Thomas McIlraith, a 20th-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma in 2015, did the heavy lifting by logging the first six innings. Alex Palsha and Johnny Magliozzi completed Saturday’s no-hitter at Charleston. The Fireflies relocated from Savannah, Georgia.
Columbia second baseman Vinny Siena, a UConn product, has reached base safely in all six games. He ranks fourth in the South Atlantic League with a .444 average and third in on-base percentage at .542.
Right-hander Ty Bashlor logged two scoreless relief innings for Columbia last Friday. It marked his first game action since Aug. 28, 2013. Bashlor had a long rehab from Tommy John surgery that cost him two full seasons.
“Farm Report” appears on Wednesdays during the regular season.