HYPE files: Wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores, 1B/2B/3B: This column is usually to bring attention to prospects not getting enough attention, but this week is different. To Mets fans that follow the Minor Leagues, Wilmer Flores is a prospect that gets a lot of attention and has been visible since he was 16 years old. However, in the mainstream sports media there is a lot to be desired. New York sports networks like SNY spend a lot of time talking about Matt Harvey, Brandon Nimmo, and Zack Wheeler, but I have not really heard them talk about Flores at all. So in retaliation to the lack of coverage Flores is receiving, this HYPE Files is a special edition entitled:

NOT ENOUGH HYPE!

After a disappointing 2011 where Flores put up a slash line of .269/.308/.380 with 9 HRs and 81 RBIs, he has enacted his revenge on pitchers everywhere in 2012. His first target was the Florida State League; a league he has struggled in for the past two years. Flores finally conquered the league with a slash line of .289/.336/.463 with 10 HRs and 42 RBIs in only 64 games. At the FSL All-Star break, the Mets rewarded Flores with a promotion to Double A Binghamton.

Flores rewarded the Mets by tearing Double A up. As of today, his slash line in Double A reads .323/.374/.506 with 7 HRs and 30 RBIs in 62 games. His combined 2012 Minor League slash line reads .306/.354/.484 with 17 HRs and 72 RBIs. Also, his strikeouts are down from 68 in 2011 to 59 this year and he has already walked 11 more times than he did last year (27 to 38). In other words, the 21 year old Flores has finally arrived.

There is only one knock on Flores at this point in his career – he does not have a position. He plays a decent 3B and 1B, but those two positions are taken on the Major League club by David Wright and Ike Davis respectfully. However, the Mets have been playing Flores at 2B since his promotion to Binghamton. If Flores can stick at that position he will be invaluable to the New York Mets. They have been searching for a 2B forever and if Flores can fill that position he can hold it down for at least the next 10 years. If 2B is not in his future, it would be worth a shot to try him out in the outfield and see if he can deliver decent defense out there.

Flores has absolutely torn the cover off the ball this year. He has displayed he can hit for average and power, produce runs, and get on base frequently. He can hit for power on a David Wright level – 20-25 HRs and 35-40 2Bs and that is something every Mets fan would sign up for. All the Mets really have to do is figure out where to play him when he is not terrorizing opposing pitchers. Keep faith that Flores will figure out a way to stick at 2B, LF, or RF because if he can he is one of the can’t miss prospects the Mets have besides Harvey and Wheeler.

How’s that for hype?

17 comments for “HYPE files: Wilmer Flores

  1. August 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    When I saw him last week in Portland, Maine, he played 3rd and played well. It was his hitting, however, that was most impressive.
    Seeing things live, being able to focus on one player rather than where the camera takes me, was fascinating. It is a small field and we had seats very close to Flores. Something that impressed me other than his line drives was his poise. He seems very even keeled, and not prone to fits of passion, especially the kind that can ruin a player. He appeared to be in control of his emotions, even after tough plays. This gave him the appearance of maturity.

    As readers here know, I like Ike. I also like Murphy, and wonder why it seems that many Mets fans are down on him. He is a solid .290 hitter adjusting to 2nd base rather than a more natural 3rd base. Body language suggests that he is a team player, pulls for the other guys, and stays with his head in the game. He appears, like Dickey and Wright, to care about the game and his teammates. We saw this (as it was pointed out to us) with Matt Harvey, as well. I loved the story of Seaver studying during batting practice. Flores was encouraging to the SS (who must be 6″ shorter than Flores) during some tough plays and following him in the dug out, he was involved with the game. (some kids drift off and are not studying the game, fool around, etc).

    I recognize that Flores could be trade bait for the Mets, but he’ll need to prove himself, at least in the showcasing sense, in AAA.

    Thanks for a well written article,

    Peter

    • Stephen Basile
      September 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      I love Daniel Murphy as well, but his .285 average and 4 HRs really aren’t going to cut it everyday for me. He would be an amazing option off the bench. Wouldn’t you love to see Murphy come off the bench with a man on second in the 9th inning?

  2. Mack Ade
    August 31, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Here’s the thing about Wilmer.

    No one played worse shortstop than Flores did for two years in Savannah. We sat there every night and watched it, shaking our heads. The only relief was when Aderlin Rodriguez showed up and took the pressure off Wilmer by playing worse third base.

    These Latin kids get “bought” by the “busteros” when they are 14, taken out of school and ‘trained’ (cough) shot up (cough) until teams like the Mets sign them at 16. MLB participates and supports this, something they would be thrown in jail for in this country.

    Then, they play ball on infields that have no grass, filled with rocks and broken glass. They simply never learn how to get in front of a grounder (I’m an old 3Bman… drives me nuts)

    Tim Teufel would pull what hair he had left out when 17-year old prospects Juan Lagares and Hector Pellot showed up to play the middle infield. They didn’t know to, other than make a spectacular catch to their side, because everything that was ever hit to them in the DR rolled that way.

    We’re all talking about Wilmer’s bat, but it’s his oustanding defense at third base that has turned him into a future major league starter. Yes, his arm is so-so, and he runs like a dead horse, but check the Lucy/B-Mets stats and compare his errors to what he did for Savannah at short in 2007-2008.

    His bat is the real deal, but his glove will get him to Queens in 2014.

  3. NormE
    August 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I got a glimpse of Wilmer at SS in Savannah a few years ago and was not impressed, but it was a small sample.
    It appears that Wilmer waits on David Wright. If the Mets can get David to sign a new contract (of which I’m dubious) then Wilmer has to make it at another position (2B or OF). If Wright is traded, or leaves ala Reyes, Wilmer might be his 3B replacement. I’m assuming that Ike remains at 1B for the next few years.

  4. Mack Ade
    August 31, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    word I’m getting is he will return to his native country and will split time plays at 3B/2B/1B

  5. Hobie
    September 1, 2012 at 9:59 am

    If he’s going to play in Queens anytime in 2013, he should be getting some OF reps this winter.

    • Mack Ade
      September 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Hobie… bubbala… I keep saying the same thing…

      he can’t run…

      he’s NOT an outfield option

  6. Rob
    September 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    No offense to you, Hobie, but why do people ALWAYS want to shove players with no position into the OF? It almost never works. Murphy, Duda, etc.

    Not only that, as Mack so eloquently put it, “he runs like a dead horse” and has a “so-so” arm. How could that possibly be a recipe for success in the outfield?

  7. September 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Any chance the top brass lets him push his way to AAA and on the brink of his ML premiere before trading him in a major deal? If he’s putting up those types of numbers, he’s got to be worth something right, perhaps part of an Upton trade?

    • Stephen Basile
      September 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      If Flores can’t stick at 2B and they resign David Wright, you will most likely definitely see him dealt in a deal. I’m convinced he will find a way to stick at 2B. If Daniel Murphy can do it, I don’t see why Flores can’t do it.

  8. Stephen Basile
    September 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Wilmer is ranked #1 on Baseball America’s hot sheet:

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2012/2613987.html

  9. Mack Ade
    September 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The Mets two top minor league bats are Wilmer Flores and Aderlin Rodriguez.

    Both are without a current position.

    Wilmer goes first. He will be the Mets 3B if David Wright exits, or the second baseman if David Wright is resigned.

    Aderlin can not play third base. I was standing in the Rome Braves dugout when the lineup cards were posted one night. One player went over to the card, read it, turned to his team, and said: “A-Rod’s on third… we can drag tonight.”

    The Mets will eventually move him to first base, but there’s no place for him if Ike Davis is becoming a 30+ home run hitter in MLB.

    The Mets have two years to trade Rodriguez, but Flores will play ether 2B or 3B in Queens in 2014. Mark my word. This is a potential Jeff Kent.

    • NormE
      September 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Does that mean that the Mets will find a spot for Wilmer and then deal him to SF or Houston where he will blossom into an MVP candidate?

      • Mack Ade
        September 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        Dealing BOTH Flores and A-Rod does give the team the opportunity to secure two solid every day players at either 2B, 3B, C, LF, CF, or RF… my God, that’s six positions!

    • Stephen Basile
      September 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Miguel Cabrera didn’t have a position, but that didn’t stop him from being called up. If the Mets have to stick Flores in LF and deal with the defense they will because his bat will be worth it. This team is in dire need of another right handed power bat and if Flores is tearing up Triple A they will call him up and stick him where ever they can. Duda was our RF for half a year because management thought his bat would play so I don’t see Flores being delayed a call up because of his lack of position.

      Hopefully Flores can figure out 2B enough to be decent so this will all be moot.

      • Mack Ade
        September 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm

        Stephen:

        Wilmer will do just fine at 2B and he has proven this year he can competitively play 3B, but he can not play in the outfield. It would make Lucas Duda look like a Golden Glove candidate. When I say he can’t run, I really mean it. He’s incapable of running. He was on first 37 times one year in Savannah when the next batter hit a single. He never got in safe at third ONCE. He can’t run and he’s never played in the outfield ONCE ever… and a ball off the wall would never hit the cutoff man on a fly. You have to trust me. He will do fine in the IF

        • Stephen Basile
          September 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm

          I’ll take your word for it, Mack. I like you believe he’ll be fine at 2B. If Murphy and Uggla can play 2B, Flores will be able to figure it out as well. I’m looking forward to seeing an infield of Ike, Flores, Tejada, Wright for years to come.

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