EL notes: Guillorme's glove second to none

Mets infield prospect adding to highlight reel with Rumble Ponies

Luis Guillorme has started 36 games at second base and 33 at shortstop for Binghamton this season. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

By Craig Forde / Special to MiLB.com | June 28, 2017 10:00 AM ET

You may be familiar with the hands of Luis Guillorme from his unflinching, one-handed grab of a wayward bat headed toward the New York Mets dugout in Spring Training.

Anyone familiar with his prior work on the field were equally unfazed, and the Binghamton middle infielder has continued to showcase his outstanding defensive talents since arriving in Double-A this season, already twice winning the fan vote for MiLB.com Plays of the Week.

It's the part of his game that he's worked most diligently on, starting back in his childhood days living in Venezuela, where it was often too dangerous to go outside and practice, so he used the environment around him to hone his skills.

"That situation over there is not the best," said the Mets' No. 16 prospect of growing up in Venezuela. "It's gotten worse, but before it was still not the best. So, my parents never really let me play outside, because it wasn't safe. In my house, I had a full room, just walls and I had a ball and would throw it off the walls to see how fast I could throw it, catch it and just get rid of it. After a while, it just stayed. As I got older, I got better with it. Pretty much that's everything I did, every day when I was home."

Video: Binghamton's Guillorme shows his range

Guillorme's family uprooted to Florida when he was 12, but having already spent vacations visiting family there, compounded with his studies of the English language, the transition was not tough on the youngster.

He also had baseball, and though he played the majority of his career at Coral Springs High School as a shortstop, it was his summer ball that prepared him for another transition that he has experienced the last two seasons in switching between short and second.

Playing with South Florida Elite, alongside fellow shortstop Stephen Kerr, who finished his career at Florida Atlantic University earlier this month, Guillorme was told the duo would be swapping positions on a game-to-game basis.

"At the beginning, we didn't know how either of us would feel about this," Guillorme said. "Now [Kerr is] my best friend, and all throughout high school we switched short and second, game-in and game-out. It wasn't that big of an adjustment because I've already done it."

Last season the Mets decided to do some of the same, and at St. Lucie he played 52 games at second and 72 at short.

This season with the Rumble Ponies, it's been a fairly even split with 36 games at second, where he's made just two errors in 158 chances, and 33 at short, where he has four errors in 133 chances.

Video: Binghamton's Guillorme makes stunning play

"Defense is my favorite thing," said Guillorme, who played for Team Spain during WBC qualifying. "I can hit all day, but I can also take groundballs all day. I have fun doing it."

Feeling more relaxed as he advances, Guillorme is feeling comfortable where his game is at and is enjoying being part of the group -- much of which he has advanced through the system with -- tasked with transitioning Binghamton into the Rumble Ponies era.

"It's a little more relaxed, you go out and do your thing -- coaches help you out," he said of reaching Double-A. "We have pretty much the same group I've played with the last three years, in Savannah to St. Lucie. We're moving up together -- we have a lot of chemistry. Having the new team name, got some new stuff, makes us feel a little better. It's fun. We're the first time, so we're trying to do something special for the first season."

In brief

Smiling Jordan face: In only 70 games, Altoona outfielder Jordan Luplow has set a career high with 16 home runs. His prior came at Class A West Virginia, where he slugged 12 in 106 games during his first full season of pro ball. The Pirates No. 30 prospect is tied for fourth in the league with a .925 OPS, and 31 of his 71 hits have gone for extra bases. Luplow, a third-round selection in the 2013 Draft, has also been flawless in the field, converting on 124 chances in left field, including six assists.

Simms city: Harrisburg right-hander John Simms holds a unique distinction when it comes to the pitching leaderboard. The 2013 11th rounder is tied for the league lead with a 1.04 WHIP, thanks to allowing just 67 hits and 17 walks over 81 innings. On the flip side, he also leads the league in hit batters with eight. That number is already the highest of his career, besting his 2013 and 2015 totals of six.

Keeping it zero: Trenton's pitching continues to pace the league, evident by the staff's 2.80 ERA, which is 0.67 points lower than the next contender, Altoona. Thunder arms have recorded 12 shutouts on the season, three more than second-place Binghamton. Ronald Herrera, who made two appearances for the Yankees in a brief callup earlier this month, has been at the starting end of three of those shutouts, while Yefry Ramirez has started two of the blankings.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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