Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores … the next Miguel Cabrera?

At Age 20:

  • Player A: 69 Games, 266 ABs, 29 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 10 HRs, 46 Runs, 59 RBIs, 31 BBs, 49 Ks, 1.038 OPS
  • Player B: 66 Games, 275 ABs, 18 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 8 HRs, 37 Runs, 33 RBIs, 20 BBs, 30 Ks, .855 OPS

Both of the players played at age 20 in AA but by the end of Miguel Cabrera’s 20th year of life, he was bidding the minors adieu and Wilmer Flores has AT LEAST half a season left.

If you haven’t guessed, Player A is Miguel Cabrera and Player B is Wilmer Flores.  The reason I talk about this is that people LOVE to talk about players being the heir to one star or another.  If I hear one more basketball announcer call one more player “The Next Jordan” I might scream into my pillow.  The reality is that Wilmer Flores is, IN FACT, the next Wilmer Flores.  However, it is worth looking for players who are around right now who might fit Mr. Flores’ track record to give us a glimpse of what he and other players might become.

Wilmer Flores… The Next Ryan Zimmerman?

They don’t have the same path to the majors.  Zimmerman didn’t enter pro baseball until he was 20 so nothing can be “EXACTLY” the same as Wilmer Flores started playing for the Mets in 2008 at the age of 16.  However, back in 2005, Ryan Zimmerman was 20 and he was playing in AA.  So let’s take a look at Mr. Zimmerman’s numbers:

  • Ryan Zimmerman: 63 Games, 233 ABs, 20 2Bs, 0 3Bs, 9 HRs, 40 Runs, 32 RBIs, 15 BBs, 34 Ks, .898 OPS

The numbers aren’t exact, but we can see that both players displayed similar power and similar speed.  While Zimmerman displayed a little more power at that age, we see Flores displaying a little more patience and drawing a few more walks.  We’ve seen Ryan Zimmerman in the majors as a .300 hitter with 20-30 HR power and 100+ RBI potential for the past 7 years.  Should Wilmer Flores manage that kind of production while playing a passable second base (or third should David Wright be traded) he’s certainly a star, but he’s not quite Miguel Cabrera.

Matt Den Dekker… The Next Carlos Beltran?

Maybe Beltran with a hole in his bat?  Den Dekker doesn’t readily compare to many center fielders as few center fielders can play their positions and have his kind of power.  When they do, they certainly don’t have Den Dekker’s propensity to strike out.  So here’s the comparison in AA:

  • Matt Den Dekker: 58 Games, 238 ABs, 21 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 8 HRs, 47 Runs, 29 RBIs, 20 BBs, 64 Ks, 10 SBs, .960 OPS
  • Carlos Beltran: 47 Games, 182 ABs, 13 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 14 HRs, 50 Runs, 44 RBIs, 23 BBs, 30 Ks, 7 SBs, 1.114 OPS

Let us get things straight.  Matt Den Dekker is NOT Carlos Beltran.  1st, Carlos Beltran was a heck of a lot better in AA… as we see above.  2nd, Carlos Beltran was only 21 when he was that good in AA… Den Dekker was 24 last season.  What this DOES show us is what Den Dekker could be if he didn’t have that gaping hole in his bat.

Brandon Nimmo… The Next Justin Upton?

Brandon Nimmo, like Den Dekker, is difficult to find a comparison for.  I needed to find someone with speed who didn’t truly display their speed right away.  Someone who didn’t necessarily have a flawless batting average but came with the toolset to succeed in the majors in short order.

  • Brandon Nimmo: 69 Games, 266 ABs, 20 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 6 HRs, 41 Runs, 40 RBIs, 46 BBs, 78 Ks, 1 SB, .778 OPS
  • Justin Upton: 113 Games, 438 ABs, 28 2Bs, 1 3B, 12 HRs, 71 Runs, 66 RBIs, 52 BBs, 96 Ks, 15 SBs, .757 OPS

If we extrapolate what Nimmo might have done in 438 ABs: 33 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 10 HRs, 68 Runs, 66 RBIs, 76 BBs, 128 Ks.  Will Nimmo turn into the next Justin Upton?  I can’t say for sure but it, at least, looks possible.

None of this statistical analysis is altogether fair.  Should the Mets manage to get all three of these players to the majors and succeeding, the farm would be doing a heck of a job.  Do the Mets have the next Ryan Zimmerman, Carlos Betlran and Justin Upton in their minors?  No.  The Mets do have the next Wilmer Flores, Matt Den Dekker and Brandon Nimmo and that is also pretty good.

19 comments for “Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores … the next Miguel Cabrera?

  1. Name
    September 25, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I think as people we always try to compare people to other people, but in reality, everyone is unique and has their own path.
    Anyways, i was just wondering if offense minor league numbers are today are similar to the numbers today. Since MLB has trended toward better pitching(and less runs), is it also true with all or some level of the minors?

    • Mack Ade
      September 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

      They are better now than the dead ball era… :)

    • September 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Prior to the season, ZiPS creator Dan Szymborski said this about offense in the minors:

      “Remember, unlike the major leagues, the minors didn’t have a decline in offense, so the translation from AAA to MLB will naturally look rougher for hitters than usual (and milder for pitchers).”

  2. Mack Ade
    September 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

    What I like about Groveman’s writings is they are dominated with positive thoughts on the future of the team that all of you root for.

    All we can do with stats is compare them and what David does here is HARD work for no bucks.

    I was honored to have him write for my site… twice… and I hope all of you appreciate the time he puts in putting together his finished product.

    He also spells better than me!

    IMO –

    Wilmer Flores will become a better than average every day infielder, either third base or second, for the Mets, beginning in 2014. There’s a chance he’ll bump up earlier, but probably only if there is a major injury in Queens. He needs to continue the excellent fielding he did this past season at third, or increase more games at second base. I pray for a 2014 infield of Davis, Flores, Tejada, Wright… but, it’s too early to put that in ink.

    What I will tell you after seeing him LIVE for three seasons… THIS IS A FUTURE MAJOR LEAGUE POWER BAT… you’re talking 30+ home runs… easy. Gold Gloves? No. Top 5 RBI leader? Possible. Last in the league in steals? A lock. Corner outfielder? Never.

    Matt den Dekker – I have no idea and I’m sick of writing about his strikeout ratio. Let the kid play AAA for the entire 2013 season and see what happens. I don’t understand why the Mets didn’t invite him up in September. Fred Lewis? Really? Players like Dek may be the future of this team and, if he can start in CF for the parent team last ST, he should have got a taste this September so everyone could see how he handled it (no less, the showcase value to other teams).

    Brando Nimmo – Boy, did the scouts rave about his poise and character (which I was told was a problem in ST camp, but may have been bullshit handed to me)the second half of the season. Forget the stats… he carried himself like he was 22. I really expect him to move fast… St. Lucie in April… end the season in Binghamton. You could see him in Queens in 2014. You really could.

    • September 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I assume Den Dekker wasn’t called up because they didn’t want to lock down a 40-man roster spot when they didn’t have to. He’s not Rule 5 eligible this year, and (barring injury) he’s not really a legitimate option for the big league club in early 2013. Absolutely agree that they should stick him in AAA to start the year and see if he can learn to make a little more contact and hit lefties a little better. The combo of power and defense is wonderful, but if you can’t get on base more than a quarter of the time, you’re not going to be an effective player.

      You really think they’ll jump Nimmo over Savannah entirely? That’d be interesting.

      • David Groveman
        September 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

        I would jump Nimmo over Savannah as well… for what that’s worth. Unless the team is playing in another park (one which doesn’t handicap hitters) I would skip him into the fairly realistic FSL. He’d have some hitting support there and could stand to suffer through a mediocre season as he figured things out. (I think he’d do fine)

        • 7train
          September 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

          I’s prefer Nimmo got to Savannah. Who cares if potential HR’s turn into outs, the idea is development. Get the proper base under him, hit line drives, hit LHP and play CF in a big outfield and play with Plaweicki, Sabol, Evans, Pina all the way up.

          He’ll still be 2 years younger than average in the Sally League as opposed to 3 years in the Florida State and averaging over a K per game he simply isn’t ready to be skip a league.

          I want him to be the best that he can be, not be abused by advanced pitching. slow and steady beats fast and loose.

          I don’t see it happening but he could also be promoted mid season if things are going that well.

        • Mack Ade
          September 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

          You don’t want to send a hitter to Savannah. It’s a death zone for the long ball.

          • September 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

            I know the stadium is brutal for power hitters. But skipping your young hitters a level just to avoid a difficult hitting environment seems like the wrong approach to me. IMO, you should send him to St. Lucie if you think he’s ready for it, not because if you didn’t his home stadium would an extreme pitchers’ park. Now I’m looking forward to seeing where he’s sent. I’d had it as a forgone conclusion he was Georgia-bound.

      • 7train
        September 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

        Den Dekker is one of the very few guys that were in AAA and didn’t need to be on the 40. Harvey and Edgin didn’t have to be either but there was a need. den Dekker still has a lot of work to do but it’s a misnomer to say that he doesn’t hit LHP. His splits the last two years are neutral in both BA, OBP and SLG.

        If he does ever learn to control the strike zone he could be a star because with his neutral platoon splits, XBH’s, gold glove D and base running ability he would give us something that would allow all the other pieces to fall into place. An everyday OFer who hits and fields and that would support a Vaughn/Baxter type RF and a Harris/Kirk LF.

        Personally I think a MDD/Harris CF, Kirk/Lagares LF and Vaughn/? is a more likely situation and that’s one OFer too many. That means all kinds of shuffling around if MDD is a 4th/5th OFer and at 25 right now Matt doesn’t have much time before he really starts eating into his prime.

        I hope he gets to play CF for someone in one of the Winter Leagues.

        • NormE
          September 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

          7train, as usual I agree with you, but I must have missed something. Who is Harris?

          • 7train
            September 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm


            Alonzo Harris, 23 in November, 39th round 2007 HS kid out of Mississippi. R/R 5″11 165.

            This year he turned in a .287/.354/.424 with 23 doubles, 7 trip;es and 8 HR’s and 44/66 BB/K rate in Pt. St. Lucie. Good range in CF, 7 assists, 40 SB, 11 CS. Hits LHP really well.

            I see him as a solid chance to be our CFer or LFer depending on MDD and leadoff hitter come 2015.

            • NormE
              September 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

              7train, thanks. As usual you do your homework. I hope you’re correct about young Mr. Harris. The Mets OF prospects are quite limited in number. The organization seems to be counting on MDD and Nimmo. Harris could be the sleeper. Keep up the good work.

    • David Groveman
      September 25, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Mack,

      Though I’m not sure my spelling is something I’m all so very proud of.

      I think we agree on the future value of everyone.

    • 7train
      September 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      I can’t see Nimmo rocketing through the minors like that.

      Over a K per game and a .191/.296/.298 triple slash Vs. LHP he’s got a lot of development ahead of him. He didn’t face the same spring/fall competition Jason Heyward did in Georgia and getting him abused and subsequently demoted would be the worst possible situation.

      He’ll be 2 years younger than average in the Sally League and that’s where he should start and most likely finish. 2014 A+, 2015 AA, 2016 AAA/Spetember call up.

      That’s the track I’d put him on and if he forces the issue readjust. We simply aren’t in a position to get anything less than the best possible result from any of our prospects and zooming them instead of grooming them has been one of the biggest issues this team has had over the last 20+ years.

      • Mack Ade
        September 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        I just gave my opinion on “them”.

        BTW… it’s never “us” and “we”.

        • 7train
          September 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

          Sorry Mack,

          To me it’ll always be us.

          That’s the way I roll.

          • Mack Ade
            September 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

            I’m sorry… I was just trying to help you if your intention was to become a sports writer someday.

  3. September 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    lucas duda the next jason giambi ?

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