Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores finds his power stroke

Wilmer FloresI was asked over the weekend, “Should the Mets fire Terry Collins?”  My answer, “Yes.” My reason is not what most people might say.  Collins is guilty of one solitary cardinal sin, in my eyes.  He insisted on playing Ruben Tejada over Wilmer Flores.  “But Flores wasn’t hitting!” Yes, as a pinch hitter/spot starter, he was hitting .225 which isn’t great.  Tejada was hitting that with full time at bats… whoopee!

Flores was demoted at the end of June and has taken the opportunity in AAA to make his MLB manager look foolish.  In his last 10 games alone, he has:

  • 12 Runs
  • 18 Hits
  • 4 Doubles
  • 6 Home Runs
  • 18 RBI

All six of those home runs have come in the last 5 games (4 of which at Albuquerque).  The long and short of why Collins is foolish right now is that he was fighting to save his job by not doing the only thing he could have to save his job.  Collins needed to get the young Mets to perform for him and prove to Sandy Alderson that he could handle the young players coming up to help the offense.

As things stand, with Flores crushing the ball in AAA, it looks like Wally Backman is going to have a mighty fine case for the manager job when Collins is fired later this year.  Likewise, Flores has a pretty good shot at getting his chance to see full-time at bats at the major league level.

AAA:

Matt Reynolds levels off – He came into AAA on fire, but his numbers are beginning to return to normal.  With that said, he’s still doing well, .314/.368/.429 in the last 10 games is not too shabby.

Matt Den Dekker wants another crack at it – He didn’t perform in the majors but he’s another player who is performing in AAA and waiting for his chance to return a rising .836 OPS is going to help with that.

That’s more like it, Noah Syndergaard 7.0 IP, 6 Hits, 1 ER, 0 BB and 8 K’s.  That is an Ace-lie performance!

Darin Gorski making me believe – The good outings in AAA are outnumbering the bad.  His latest: 6.0 IP, 6 Hits, 2 ER, 1 BB and 7 K’s!

AA:

T.J. Rivera staying strong after an overdue promotion – Rivera’s stats in Port St. Lucie were great but he’s also been in Port St. Lucie forever.  Hitting .345/.429/.448 since his promotion should make him feel very good about himself.

Dilson Herrera is looking good – He’s hitting .329/.362/.486 in AA but he needs to strike out less and walk more.

Why is Jack Leathersich still in AA? – In 36 IP he has a 2.75 ERA, 64 K’s and only 17 BB’s.  I don’t understand why he isn’t in Las Vegas… or Flushing.

Steven Matz is gonna be big! – His latest start in AA: 7 IP, 4 Hits, 2 Runs, 0 ER, 1 BB and 7 K’s.  He is looking like another top of the rotation starter!

A+:

L.J. Mazzilli is on a short list of offensive success stories – He might not be touted as reaching the success of his father, but since the promotions went through the system, he’s the only player in Port St. Lucie who is hitting.

Cory Mazzoni is on his way back to health – Rehab start went well: 5 IP, 6 Hits, 2 ER, 1 BB and 6 K’s.

A:

Dominic Smith showing power… doubles power – I would love to see a homer, but 6 doubles in 10 games is a step in the right direction.

Champ Stuart making some noise – Over the last 10 games he’s hitting .429/.535/.629.  Stuart is a speedster who hadn’t played a ton of baseball before being drafted.

Akeel Morris recovers from his blown save – Two more outings since his second ER game of the season and 2.1 perfect innings.  Also 5 more K’s to add to his insanely good numbers.

A-:

Jhoan Urena looks like he could be a “Special” prospect – .338/.407/.506 on the year with 7 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 stolen bases.  That and he looks very good at 3rd base.

R: APP

Is Brandon Brosher the next Mike Piazza? – Probably not, but the 36th round pick has hit 4 home runs in 8 games and generated a 1.198 OPS.

R: GCL

Robert Whalen rehabbing? – I assume that was why he made a GCL appearance.

John Mora off and running – Don’t make much of 11 games but it’s impressive to have 6 stolen bases in that time.

16 comments for “Mets Minors: Wilmer Flores finds his power stroke

  1. Name
    July 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Why should I be impressed with Flores over 1 magical series?
    Before that he had around an .870 OPS, which is nothing special in the PCL.
    6% walk rate this year, 5% for his minor league career, 4% at the MLB level.

    • July 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      If you choose to be unimpressed, you are more than welcome to. You can also choose to live in a world without love, romance or the smell of frying bacon. I don’t personally recommend either choice.

      • Name
        July 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        Perhaps i should elaborate more and cite some stats.

        The current non-pitchers triple line slash for Las Vegas is .289/.384/.481 which is a .865 OPS.

        Before Albuquerque, Flores’s AAA numbers were .315/.358/.510 for a .868 OPS.

        So, while his 4 game set with Albuquerque was godly , the majority of his body of work, doesn’t seem overly impressive to me.

        • July 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm

          Your point is valid. There is no mistake that most of the fuss is over the recent four games:

          7/4: 2.000 OPS
          7/5: 1.667 OPS
          7/6: 1.750 OPS
          7/7: 1.850 OPS

          I’d point out:

          6/28: 1.600 OPS
          6/29: 1.000 OPS
          7/1: 1.133 OPS
          7/3: 1.250 OPS

          Sure… he just had a series to end all series, but he’s definitely been clubbing the ball since the demotion. Not unlike Travis d’Arnaud.

          I can’t stand Ruben Tejada at this point. With a bunch of free agent options at SS set to be available, I want to see Wilmer Flores be given a real shot in the majors.

          • Name
            July 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm

            If you haven’t taken a look at Tejada’s stats recently, here it is

            Since Flores was called up on May 9th:
            .273/.377/.357 , .734 OPS.

            His overall line is .240/.350/.302 and his OPS+ of 90 is actually tied with guys like JJ Hardy and Boegarts for 14th out of 27 SS with 250 or more PA.
            OPS wise, he’s right in the middle of the pack. Fangraphs has his defense in the middle of the pack right now too, but they have him as one of the worst baserunners in the group

      • Patrick Albanesius
        July 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

        Haha!

  2. July 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I was at the game in Hickory yesterday where Smith went 3-for-4 with a SF. Everything he hit was to CF or LC. He didn’t pull the ball once in five PA. He’s probably not going to deliver much over-the-fence power with that approach. His double was a one-hopper to the wall, though.

    Brosher has a broken right fibula – probably done for the year.

    Not sure if you saw it, but your buddy Vicente Lupo and Wuilmer Becerra were arrested for drag racing. Both cars going over 100 mph with neither player having a US license.

    • July 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      - Smith: I just want to see the 20+ HR potential and I can’t see any of it yet.

      - Brosher: That figures… he couldn’t pull off the mustache anyway.

      - Lupo/Becerra: I wonder if teams need to invest more in coaching prospects about off the field behavior.

      • Jerry Grote
        July 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

        how much additional investment in coaching do you suppose you’d need to stop a 19 year old from driving really, really fast … especially when they are stationed basically in the heart of NASCAR?

        • July 8, 2014 at 7:40 am

          I think new players should come to camp 2-3 weeks early to learn about acceptable behavior etc…

          Use of social media
          Drinking
          Partying

          You know, common sense stuff that athlete’s seem to miss.

  3. July 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Reuben Tejada gets at bats over Flores.

    A 40 year old outfielder gets more at bats than…

    Chris Young, a 7 million dollar bust, gets more at bats than…

    Is it all Collins, or is it Alderson, pulling the strings? Wilpon??

    To be out of things by July and say “we don’t have time to develop young players” is beyond stupid. It reeks of someone mandating this from above. TC cannot be that stupid.

  4. Patrick Albanesius
    July 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Since June 1, Tejada is hitting .258/.351/.320. The first two numbers are nice, but that .671 OPS isn’t getting it done. Flores offers much more in the way of SLG, which this team is desperate for. Tejada has proven he’s still a ballplayer, but the rest of the team isn’t good enough to make up for his lack of power. That’s not his fault, but it does mean he’s probably out of a job soon.

    • July 8, 2014 at 7:41 am

      He’s a backup infielder on a good team.

      • Jerry Grote
        July 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

        there are 23 SS that have gotten to bat 70 times so far this year.

        That .671 OPS that “isn’t getting it done” and makes Tejada a “backup infielder on a good team”?

        Places him tied with some guy named Simmons, A. At 11th place of 23 guys.

        Its not Castro (792) or Owings (771), but its ok enough. I’m no fan of Tejada, but give the guy his due. He’s pulled himself up to an average SS, or barely less than average.

  5. Metsense
    July 8, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Tejada has played good since May 9th but at the time the Mets felt they needed to evaluate Flores and they didn’t. If he played consistently during that same time frame , could he have put up Tejada like numbers? I believe so. The Mets needed to see if he could handle SS or at least look like a future second baseman (considering Murphy’s status). We will never know. Ruben has played good, and over the year looks like what he is, a slightly below average SS.
    Went to two Sand Gnat games in Hickory last weekend. Champ Stuart can fly! He fielded his position, and “looked” like a ballplayer. Morris was again in the 94-96 range and needs to be challenged with a promotion. On Sunday, I had the pleasure of hooking up with Brian and Joe Vasile and Brian accurately covered Dom Smith. I thought Oberste hit the ball the hardest, going 6 for 8 with 2 homers and a double in the 2 games that I saw. He was the DH and is listed as a first baseman.

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