Wilmer Flores, potential All-Star

The MLB All-Star game is less than a month away, it’s scheduled for Marlins Park in Miami on July 11. At the the beginning of this season, Mets fans could reasonably hope for players like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Yoenis Cespedes to be serious contenders for the NL squad, with several others having decent chances. Syndergaard certainly did pitch like an All-Star, until he hurt his lat muscle and became unavailable. In his most recent start, against the Cubs, deGrom pitched like an All-Star, but he hasn’t the rest of the season and he would be a longshot at best to be picked. As to Cespedes, he is ninth in the fan voting for outfielder, but with injuries piling up for him and given his somewhat cavalier attitude toward what games he would play in, he too is unlikely to be chosen.

Each team traditionally has at least one player picked, and outfielders Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce each have a case to be chosen. Conforto was not even on the ballot but he is having a very nice season. Jay Bruce is buried at 13th in the fan voting but deserves to be higher on his 17 home runs so far this year.

There is another Met who deserves serious consideration for a slot on the NL team, and that would be red-hot infielder Wilmer Flores. Flores could earn the spot not for his glove but for his bat. The All-Star game format uses a DH format, and the NL manager (Joe Maddon) gets to pick one, and hopefully he would consider Flores.

Flores is having a tremendous offensive season. His overall numbers show 138 at-bats, five homers, and a slash line of .326/.349/.507, which is pretty good. Against right-handed pitchers he has 104 AB, 3 homers, and a .298/.327/.462 slash line, better than usual for him. But we all know know what he can do to southpaws, his numbers against them are 34 at bats, 2 homers, and a ball-pulverizing .412/.417/.647 slash line. All stats are from ESPN.com and were current as of Monday night June 12.

Flores could be used several ways. Say the AL starts left-hander Chris Sales. Starters usually go 2 innings in the All-Star game, so Flores could be the DH and maybe bat fifth or sixth in the order meaning he would bat against the lefty, unless the pitcher was knocked out of the box very early. Then if a righty is pitching the next time around the order Maddon could send up a pinch-hitter or stay with Flores since he is respectable against right-handers this year.

If a right-hander starts, Flores could be held back. Imagine if late in the game the NL has men on base in a close one, with a left-handed batter due up. If the AL countered with a lefty reliever, that would allow Maddon to bat Flores in a spot where he could really do some damage.

In reality, the Mets may only get one player on the team, and that would probably be Bruce. But it sure would behoove Maddon to strongly consider Flores as well, he could be a dangerous weapon in the NL manager’s arsenal of players.

14 comments for “Wilmer Flores, potential All-Star

  1. Jimmy P
    June 14, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I think if you were putting together a team for one game, regardless of rules for team representation, just a smart manager trying to find a team to win one game, one could easily argue that Wilmer would be a good weapon on the bench against a LH reliever.

    This theoretical team would have one starter, one long man, and about 7-8 other relievers.

    You’d want a couple of amazing defensive players, and a couple of stolen base threats, a good bunter, etc. It would be different than a traditional All-Star team with its redundant pieces.

    • DED
      June 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

      The closest I can remember to that approach happened in the ’60’s, as Walt Alston announced that he would be managing to win, that his best players would play deep into the game, and that he would be loading up his pitching staff with Dodgers.

      Somewhat more typical was the 1977 game, with a soon-to-be 38 year old Carl Yastrzemski starting the game playing centerfield. Yaz was a left fielder for the Red Sox, later a first baseman, but I believe he played center field in three All Star games. I remember enjoying listening to the announcers trying to gloss over that one; “of course, Yaz is a great athlete,” et cetera.

  2. June 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

    He’s definitely an under-the-radar pick, but he could be a great sleeper ASG pick.

    • John Fox
      June 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Mike, you summed up very well my main point

  3. Metsense
    June 14, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Michael Conforto is the Mets best player this year and should be the selection. Flores is developing into an everyday player, and on the Mets that means third base. I hope and root that he continues to play well. Flores could be the trade chit for a good back end reliever. He is 26 yoa this summer, controlled until 2020 and inexpensive. A team looking to rebuild (seller) could find him appealing because of his potential to improve further. The Mets are eventually going to promote Rosario which means either Cabrera or Flores is the odd man out. Flores has better trade value. Flores is not defensibly strong enough to play third base. This could also be the reason that Reyes is still around so that Jose can to be the left side infield backup when the trade is made.

    • blaiseda
      June 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Flo doesn’t belong anywhere near 3B.. last night’s failure to start a DP which leads to a wheeler melt down is just another example… Love wilmer.. but he just cant play any other spot than 1B and DH.

    • MattyMets
      June 14, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Comforts needs another hot streak to get that BA back up.

  4. Pete from NJ
    June 14, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Just to change the angle of conversation. I’m speculating that the Met front office must feel Wilmer is onto something by not promoting Amed Rosario in Cabrera’s absence. They obviously don’t want an infield log jam when Cabrera returns and want Wilmer to go it alone.

    Let’s see what we have by giving Wilmer the job until {if or when}he loses it.

    • blaiseda
      June 14, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      we saw last night… poor fielding leads to an 8 run inning. Wilmer is 1B and DH, only… I love him but unless the mets finally decide to use him correctly or trade him.. this will continue to happen… until he leaves as a FA and plays well for a team that knows how to.

      • Jimmy P
        June 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm

        I am afraid this is largely correct.

        That said, I think the Mets have used him correctly. He has stepped into a void at 3B.

        I don’t think we can blame Wilmer or Collins for that void.

        He’s not an everyday player.

        And I love him, too.

        Mets could use more speed and defense, and Wilmer offers nothing in those categories.

  5. TexasGusCC
    June 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I’m waiting to read Chris F’s, Name’s, and Brian’s reaction to this article.

    • June 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      If I buy a Powerball ticket, I’m a potential lottery winner.

      • Name
        June 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        I’m sure the PCL would welcome him with open arms as they play against the IL.

  6. Chris F
    June 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    The power of Orange and Blue tinted glasses is apparently infinite.

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