Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores, Canada and the return of the Gulf Coast Mets

Finding A Home: If the Mets had listened to me, Wilmer Flores would have spent all of 2012 in Port St. Lucie.  It wasn’t about his hitting, which more than earned his way into starting in AAA in 2013.  It wasn’t even his fielding, which was adequate at 3rd base and 2nd (In no way GOOD).  I would have held Flores behind because, if I were in command, he’d be in the midst of a shift to catcher.

Two things were clear to me before 2012.  The Marlins were not going to be able to afford keeping all of those poorly combined free agents and Wilmer Flores had nowhere to play.  What am I talking about?  Well… this falls back to my argument that with no position to play Flores should be moved to catcher.

People scoffed at me and called be absurd but the fact remains that if the Mets retain David Wright and Ike Davis (as they should) then Flores is left with no position to play.  “He played second base,” You say.  Well… he did, but he doesn’t have the range to stop a lot of shots so his defensive numbers being okay… is a little misleading.  Flores only gets to about 70-80% of the balls that your average 2B tracks down.  Because he cannot make a play on these, he’s spared errors popping up on the scorecard, but we would be giving up hits and runs by placing him at second.

The pipe-dream is over.  Flores will never catch and the Mets will need to come to terms with one of the following options: Trade Wright, Trade Davis or Trade Flores.  In the long run, Flores is not a second baseman.

Ottawa Here We Come: What is more depressing than the winter in Binghamton, NY?  If you said, “Jason Bay’s stat line as a Met,” you’d be right, but you would also be correct if you mentioned the frozen North and the lovely city of Ottawa.  Besides being home to a hockey team ranked only below the Rangers, Flyers and Red Wings on my Loath-O-Meter, Ottawa will soon be home to a minor league baseball affiliate.  (Hey, it makes my B-Mets hat a collector’s item).

Anyway, the long and short of the issue here is that we have two teams in the Dominican Republic (Hot), two teams in Florida (Hot), a team in Georgia (Hot), a team in Las Vegas (Hot) and a team in Canada (Effing Cold).  This makes the Brooklyn Cyclones the only team remotely similar in climate to Flushing.  It’s probably meaningless… I’ll check with Admiral Ackbar.

IT’S A TRAP!!!

Did I Say TWO Teams In Florida?: That’s right kiddos, the Wilpons re-opened the Met’s Gulf Coast League Team.  I decided to try to investigate how this would affect the minors which can now spread out the rosters in the lower levels.

POS

MLB: NL East

AAA: PCL

AA: EAS

A+: FSL

C1

  Juan Centeno Francisco Pena Camden Maron

C2

Josh Thole Anthony Recker Blake Forsythe Alberto Cordero

1B

Ike Davis Eric Campbell Allan Dykstra Aderlin Rodriguez

2B

Daniel Murphy Reese Havens Ryland Sandoval Danny Muno

3B

David Wright Wilmer Flores Jefry Marte Robbie Shields

SS

Ruben Tejada Wilfredo Tovar T.J. Rivera Phillip Evans

LF

Lucas Duda Jordany Valdespin Alonzo Harris Cory Vaughn

CF

Mike Baxter Matt Den Dekker Darrell Ceclianni Brandon Nimmo

RF

Kirk Nieuwenhuis Juan Lagares Cesar Puello Travis Taijeron

SP #1

R.A. Dickey Zack Wheeler Cory Mazzoni Michael Fulmer

SP #2

Johan Santana Jeurys Familia Darin Gorski Logan Verrett

SP #3

Jon Niese Jenrry Mejia Rafael Montero Domingo Tapia

SP #4

Matt Harvey Collin McHugh Jacob DeGrom Luis Mateo

SP #5

Dillon Gee Chris Schwinden Greg Peavey Tyler Pill

SP #6

  Mark Cohoon Erik Goeddel Alex Panteleodis

CL

Frank Francisco Elvin Ramirez Jack Leathersich T.J. Chism

SU

Bobby Parnell Ryan Fraser Adam Kolarek Jeffrey Walters

SU

Josh Edgin Armando Rodriguez Adrian Rosario Marcos Camarena

 

POS

A: SAL

SSA: NYP

R1: APP

R2: GCL

C1

Kevin Plawecki Tomas Nido Adrian Abreu Manuel Hillario

C2

Jeffrey Glenn Xorge Carillo Victor Moscote Dioni Rodriguez

1B

Cole Frenzel Jayce Boyd Jeffrey Diehl  

2B

Brandon Kaupe Yeixon Ruiz Victor Cruzado  

3B

Dustin Lawley Jorge Rivero Elvis Sanchez Pedro Perez

SS

Matt Reynolds Gavin Cecchini Amed Rosario Leon Canelon

LF

Gilbert Gomez Vicente Lupo Oswald Coraballo John Mora

CF

Eudy Pena Eris Peguero Johanny Sierra Ysidro Pierre

RF

Stefan Sabol Maikis De La Cruz Hengelbert Rojas  

SP #1

Gabriel Ynoa Akeel Morris Yoan Gonzalez  

SP #2

Rainy Lara Corey Oswalt Yoryi Nuez  

SP #3

Hansel Robles Brandon Welch Kevin Canelon  

SP #4

Steven Matz John Gant Marcos Molina  

SP #5

Luis Cessa Robert Gsellman Gaby Almonte  

SP #6

Matt Koch Chris Flexen Lenny Rosario  

CL

Tyler Vandenheiden Juan Urbina Shane Bay Carlos Coronado

SU

Carlos Vazquez Paul Sewald Jorge Cespedes  

SU

John Mincone Logan Taylor Marcos Gonzalez  

 

Now take these charts for what they are… preliminary.  Players could show up at Spring Training ready for a higher level or looking somehow lost and needing time in a lower level… or there could be injuries.  Then, when the Mets draft you’ll have players shifting all across the lowest three levels, but the purpose here is only to see how much additional room the GCL league helps to give the Mets.

What I notice is that quite a number of players in 2012’s DSL class look worthy to graduate into the states.  This happened for two reasons: The Met’s DSL teams did well in 2012 and the Mets did not have a GCL team to promote players to in 2012.  Now in 2013 we have half the usual vacancies in the lower minors because of the DSL graduates.  What does this depth chart tell us?

  • The Mets will likely use two of their first three picks on pitching
  • The Mets’ system Is still powered by International Signees
  • The GCL Team is important to developing young players (If only for the sake of room)

20 comments for “Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores, Canada and the return of the Gulf Coast Mets

  1. November 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Is it too late to turn Flores into a corner outfielder? We could really use one of those, especially with some pop.

    Maybe they can groom into an emergency catcher on the side?

    • David Groveman
      November 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      It’s not about him learning a corner OF position it’s about a lack of foot speed that all the scouts see. The kid has good hands and a good arm but he just doesn’t cover the ground. 3B and 1B are really the only spots the Mets would have for him in the future. He’s a great talent but finding a job for him is hard.

      Mets COULD plug him in at second and hope his offense counteracts his defense. It’s not like Dan Uggla is known as the second coming of Ozzie Smith, but he’s still a top 2B.

      I just think that Flores will need to fall into a corner which spells the Metropolitan end to Wright, Davis or Flores at some point.

  2. Name
    November 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Dont teams usually convert good hitting players away from catcher?

    Anyways, if he’s still a year or 2 away from the majors, a lot could happen during that time and im sure hell get someplace to play if his bat warrants it

    • David Groveman
      November 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Yes, but usually these players are being rushed to the majors and catcher would take too long. Look at Bryce Harper. Why convert him AWAY from catcher? Because he can play a needed position well. Bryce Harper has speed, Flores does not. We cannot teach him to be faster. We can teach him to call a game and stop the ball.

  3. Metsense
    November 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    NL Avg 2B: 13 HR, 66 RBI, .713 OPS
    Murphy: 6 HR, 65 RBI, .735 OPS -9.0 UZR
    Flores: A & AA 2012; 18 HR, 75 RBI, .827 OPS
    Flores probably will play the majority of 2013 at AAA. At age 21 he still has room to improve. If he can maintain or improve these numbers, he would be an above average NL 1B or 3B and a very good offensive 2B. Play him at 2B in AAA so that he can get comfortable at the position. After a season, the Mets could then evaluate if he is a better defensive 2B than Murphy.
    David – Thanks again for the chart which will be another reference source.

    • David Groveman
      November 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks!

      If the Mets work out a long term deal for David Wright then Flores will move to second and we will hope for the best. If Wright wants more than th Wilpons can offer, Flores becomes the heir apparent.

  4. November 27, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I am late to this discussion but has Flores caught in younger years?

    • David Groveman
      November 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

      For the past three years I’ve brought up catcher as a position that, on paper, made sense for Flores. He has poor range but a good arm and good hands. It was never a “REAL” possibility.

  5. November 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

    It might be that Flores could be part of package to get us a power bat for outfield. Flores could be start of package for Stanton when Marlins are ready to deal him? Flores position would be 3rd base for them as they have no real prospect for position.

    • David Groveman
      November 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

      That would make some sense although until Stanton will cost the Marlins money he will be a member of their team.

      • November 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

        Yes, that is why I said when they are ready to deal him. Then hopefully we might be ready to afford his contract, which I think would be when he is arbitration eligible.

  6. Ted K
    November 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    First of all, Wilmer Flores is too big for a Catcher (6’4″) catchers are usually around 5’7 – 6’1″. If he was smaller with the same skills, he would be perfect for Catcher, but he isn’t. That’s why we moved Diehl off Catcher and put him in the outfield in Kingsport. Unfortunately his foot speed is too slow for outfield too, or our outfield problems would be less.
    Second of all, I have problems with the speculated rosters. they’re not going to put both Evans and Nimmo into Port St. Lucie. Both are going to Savannah. Muno will be 2B in St. Lucie to prove he isn’t a fluke and Matt Reynolds signed to play shortstop and below slot so he could advance quickly. Aderlin will stay at 3rd to promote worth, and Frenzel will be at St. Lucie. Boyd will be at Savannah, he was drafted as an advanced bat. Cecchini was also drafted 12th because he has an advanced bat, so I think he’ll be in Savannah.
    They will probably not bring Kaupe into full season, and Ahmed Rosario will either be in Gulf Coast or DSL, not the Appy League, along with Pedro Perez.
    I think Glenn will be cut, and Nido won’t be at Brooklyn, I’m hoping he’s in Savannah. I think Diehl will be in the outfield with Sabol and Nimmo as well.
    Lupo will be in the GCL or Appy, Brooklyn is too much for an 18 year old. Sanchez will be in Appy or GCL as well.
    And a couple of 2011′s High school pitching draftees I’m guessing are going to Savannah as well with Pill going to Binghamton, Gorski in Vegas, and Familia and/ or Mejia goes to the MLB in either starting or Relief Roles.

    That’s just me, feel free to debate.

    • David Groveman
      November 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Hey Ted,

      Size is a great point. One that I didn’t truly consider, but you are right. Still… the point was not that he should be a catcher, the point is that if you keep Wright and Davis he doesn’t have a future home.

      The speculated rosters… are speculated rosters. I don’t know where people will end up, it’s my best guesses based on how they did in the previous years they played and the general opinion of how they were drafted. I’ll respond to a couple points:

      Evans and Nimmo to A+: Maybe not… but it seems that both players are there for the bat and Savannah is more for pitcher development IMHO.

      Muno in AA: Muno would be in Port St. Lucie if there was a more sensible name to promote to AA but frankly, I think he’s fine for the promotion.

      Aderlin to 1st: Mets already began the transition last year… I think you are simply wrong on this. That is why Frenzel is back in Savannah where he has yet to produce anyway.

      Cecchini FSA or SSA: I put Cecchini in Port St. Lucie because he didn’t show me enough bat in 2012 to warrant skipping Brooklyn. Heck, if Nimmo repeated NYP (albeit a SUPER small sample) Gavin will as well.

      Kaupe FSA: Maybe not. Hardly matters.

      APP vs. GCL: I defaulted to throwing most players into the APP… when the draft happens many of those names will slip into the GCL and some will only play in the DSL leagues.

      Nido WON’T Be In Brooklyn: Are you in the Met clubhouse for this insider info? He was in the APP and Plawecki is nearly guaranteed the spot in Savannah. Players who have Nido’s upside deserve the playing time of a starter. I felt that Nido could do well if held in extended spring training until the Brooklyn season started.

      Lupo: He’ll go where he goes. I felt justified in the jump to Brooklyn.

      High School Pitchers: I’m not 100% sure, but I think that Ynoa, Lara, Robles and Cessa all earned their way onto FSA teams not to mention Matz, who you’d better believe is skipping Brooklyn. So tell me… who else can you squeeze into the Savannah rotation before promotions?

      Pill, Gorski, Familia and Mejia: Quibbling and guessing. It’s fine… but phrase yourself as if you are guessing… unless you have insider knowledge in which case I ask, “WHY DO WE KEEP SWITCHING MEJIA TO A ROLE HE’S BAD AT?!?” For my money, with the Met rotation as it is… (Dickey*) Mejia and Familia are best served by STARTING for the AAA ball club.

  7. Charles
    November 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Vincente Lupo is absent from your rosters.

    • David Groveman
      November 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Lupo is patrolling left field in Brooklyn. Though… it could be Kingsport or the GCL… he’s gonna get promoted out of the DSL… that’s all.

  8. Jed Davis
    November 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Dear David,

    I completely agree with you that the Mets should shift Wilmer Flores to Catcher. If not during the 2012 season, they could have at least tried it out during Winter Ball. I actually wrote a message to Toby Hyde’s Mets minor league blog asking about this, but never heard back from him. Anyway, it’s unfortunate that, for a team whose management had been famous for outside-the-box thinking and strategy, that they probably aren’t going to do this.

    • David Groveman
      November 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Hey Jed,

      Toby probably thought you were me… or a new member of my cult. Ted made an excellent point about size. I think we’ll know the future of Flores in the next 7 days as I think Wright will sign. It means that Flores will quickly transition to 2nd and that Havens might be repeating AA again.

      • NormE
        November 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        David,
        If the Mets do sign Wright, as you suggest, why not package Flores for a player who might actually fill one of the team’s holes? Or, are we kidding ourselves about Flores? Are the Mets the only team that sees him as a MLB talent? With Wright and Davis in the fold is it more valuable to keep Flores as future insurance or to trade for a player who fills the team’s immediate needs?

        • David Groveman
          November 29, 2012 at 9:02 am

          Don’t get down Norm.

          Flores is a hitter and a good one.

          He still fits into 3B, 1B and DH.

          He’s going to give it a hack as a 2B.

          If he doesn’t succeed defensively but continues to hit this way he’ll be sought after.

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