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
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.
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, 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.