Mets Minors: Prospect gems Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores shine brightly

Zack Wheeler: I’ve written about Wheeler and you’ve read about Wheeler and by now, you are eagerly anticipating buying your very own Wheeler Met jersey some time during the 2013 or 2014 season.  First, before I get into talking about all the good things he’s doing, let me mention that he’s not YET ready for the majors.  He still has hit-or-miss days with control and the Mets will likely need to start him in AAA for 2013 no matter what.  This isn’t supposed to get you folks feeling down on his prospect status, technically he’s a season or a season and a half ahead of where I thought he’d be, so just wait patiently and sometime in 2013 be ready for his promotion.

Zack Wheeler had a start for AAA Buffalo on Sunday that is reason for us to start murmuring now… even if we know it’s best for him to wait until 2013.  Wheeler pitched 7 strong innings of no run baseball.  He only gave up 3 hits and 2 walks in the outing and struck out 7.  He’s been averaging a very healthy 9-ish K/9 for the entire year but it’s still very important for those numbers not to take a hit if he’s going to progress as quickly as we fans are hoping.

Wheeler may be called up to the majors next month as part of the expansion of rosters, but I don’t think it’s the wisest choice.  Let’s keep Wheeler’s head where it should be for now.  He needs to finish mastering AAA but… it’s looking good.

Wilmer Flores: In the past 10 games that Wilmer Flores has played in Binghamton, he’s had his OPS over 1.000 5 times.  He’s had 4 multi-hit games and only 1 game without a hit.  He’s struck out 5 times… and walked 5 times.  He’s blasted 6 doubles and 2 homers.  That’s pretty darned impressive.

More interesting to watch is the daily shuffle of where will Wilmer play.  He’s been swapped into and out of 3B, 2B and DH and at this point it is the answer to “Where does he play with the Mets?” that is holding him from being on my roster card for the 2013 MLB team.  He needs to hone his craft at a position but it does seem like that position is most likely going to be 3rd or 1st.  So… the Mets will have an interesting time this offseason deciding the future of David Wright, Wilmer Flores and the ball-club.

7 comments for “Mets Minors: Prospect gems Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores shine brightly

  1. August 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I had the pleasure of watching Wilmer Flores in person on Saturday evening and he was something special. His glove was rock steady, his emotions appear even keel, and his hitting, even in foul balls, appears to be in line with a swinger who drives the ball to all fields, yet has the power to pull for a homer. Even in fouling off touch pitches he was spraying them outside first and third base. His stride into the pitch is smooth and he appears older than he is. He appears physically mature and was a pleasure to watch.

    • David Groveman
      August 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      I had meant to get up to Binghamton a few times this year but life got considerably in the way. Soon I anticipate Wilmer in Queens (By End Of 2013) so it won’t be so long.

  2. NormE
    August 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    If the Mets re-sign David Wright (I think they’ll underwhelm him with a contract extension offer and wind up trading him), is there a chance that Flores could be moved to the outfield? His bat projects better than most of the Mets minor league outfield prospects.

    • David Groveman
      August 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      If the Mets re-sign David Wright the reality is that Davis and Flores can both not cut it running in the outfield. There is still the outside chance Wilmer can cut it at second, but the only maximum value solution would be to move Wright into LF or RF (both of which he’d be suited for). You just don’t ask your star player to change positions for a prospect.

  3. Name
    August 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I don’t think that we (or Wheeler) needs to be up in the majors during September. For one, there are players (McHugh, Meija) who i think deserve to get a shot ahead of him, and secondly, he isn’t expected to make an impact until the 2nd half of next season, while those other pitchers i mentioned could be up earlier.
    And it doesn’t hurt to delay someone’s arbitration clock :)

    • David Groveman
      August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      I agreed that Wheeler shouldn’t be called up, but I wouldn’t put it beyond the realm of possibility that the Mets choose to do it.

      Devil’s Advocate: The Mets see enough in Wheeler that they are considering giving him a legit shot of making the team out of Spring Training. To test this they’d like to give him 1-2 starts in the majors just to test the waters.

      Again: I don’t think we need to promote him.

      Re Mejia: AS LONG AS HE STARTS! No more switching Jenrry back and forth.

  4. Metsense
    August 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Good post, Name, I couldn’t have said it better.
    Peter, glad you could get a first hand look at Flores. He seems to be one of a few hitting prospects in the minors and he still is a year away. What position do you see him playing in the majors?
    The Mets are stocked with minor league pitchers but have very little in the way of hitters so I hope Flores continues to progress.

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