I know it’s early, but the promising start to the 2012 campaign for Mets former top prospect Wilmer Flores is extremely encouraging. He was ranked at the top of the organization in recent years due to his hitting ability and future potential, but did not live up to the hype on the field. So far this season he is showing that maybe all that talk of him being a big time hitter was accurate and the recent lack of production was just part of his growing pains.
Wilmer is absolutely raking for Single-A St. Lucie. I know it’s only A ball, but he has been at that level for a few seasons now and it’s about time he started to figure it out and earn himself a promotion.
Despite hearing about him for the past few seasons and watching his stock drop as he did not progress through the ranks in the Mets system as many had hoped, he is still just 20 years old. Flores has a world of potential offensively and he is finally starting to give the Mets a return on their investment.
Here are his numbers so far this season.
Here are his numbers prior to this season.
Looking at his prior season totals and the short sample from 2012 the biggest thing to me that jumps out is his increase in power. He has not shown the power scouts thought he would so far early into his professional career. His lack of consistent power and his low walk rate basically made him into a singles hitter with a decent average but a low OBP.
The one thing that he was consistent with was run production and that was always the most encouraging sign for me as I tracked his progress. Over 80 RBI in each of the past few seasons despite his lack of power shows you he has the knack to be a run producer, but until he starts to grow into his power he won’t live up to his full potential.
I don’t expect Flores to ever be a 30 homer guy, but 20 seems like it’s a possibility. If his home run power is going to be down then he needs to start to turn some of those line drive singles into gap doubles. His fast start has me very intrigued and I am hopeful that he is finally growing into his body a bit and is turning a corner.
If he keeps up this pace we will be seeing him finally earn that long awaited promotion to Double-A Binghamton.