Six seasons of work in the making, the New York Mets finally bore witness to the fruits of their labor with the major-league debut of longtime-top prospect Wilmer Flores.
Despite the o-fer in last night’s thrilling 3-2 victory in the series opener against the Colorado Rockies, Flores’ first game marks yet another infusion of quality young talent into the mix at the major league level.
The young infielder has been molded by the Mets organization since he signed a $700K contract on his sixteenth birthday back in 2007. Exactly six years later, sans braces, Flores celebrated the 22nd anniversary of his birth by batting sixth in the Amazin’s lineup and taking the field at third base.
When Flores turned right and stepped foot into the Mets clubhouse for the first time, he saw a number of familiar faces, one of whom has been his teammate for much of his minor league career, Josh Satin. Speaking with Satin at the Jr. Mets Camp event in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the 28-year old had nothing but glowing reviews of his once again-teammate.
“I love Wilmer,” said Satin as his face lit up when the conversation moved to Flores. “We’ve been teammates off and on, since I’ve been in New York—I’ve been in this organization since 2008—I’ve seen him grow, I’ve seen him play a lot. He’s an amazing kid. Off the field, on the field, baseball aside he’s a great kid. I really enjoy being around him, we joke around. I’m excited to have him here.”
As much as Satin enjoys Flores as a person, his own personal scouting report of the Mets top-hitting prospect is even more complimentary, focusing mostly on his abilities at the plate.
“He’s an incredible hitter, especially considering he’s 21 years old,” said Satin, taking a moment to consider the words to use to describe his teammate and friend. “His eye-hand coordination is second-to-none. He does things that I can’t believe. Sometimes with two strikes on a pitch that he can’t reach, he’ll throw the bat and he’ll hit the ball, and he’ll get a hit. That is just the kind of talent he has and the kind of ability he has. He’s fearless out there and I think he’ll have a successful start to his career and it should be exciting for the fans.”
Although there is an age gap, both Satin and Flores have a similar dilemma; each of them have significant abilities with a bat, but have never had one specific position to call their own. Satin says that the two have spoken about that topic before, however their situations vary. Satin is using his ability to play multiple positions as a way to make himself more versatile and therefore more appealing, meanwhile the team is looking for a position where Flores can stick.
“For him it’s a little different,” said Satin. “He’s young, and while I’m kind of trying to make my name as a guy who can play everywhere; they’re trying to find a position for him to play every day. It’s not easy but it is always good to do different things. If he couldn’t play third, maybe he wouldn’t be here today and if I couldn’t play third maybe I wouldn’t be here today. Versatility is always a positive, but if you hit, they’ll find a way.”
Flores has hit, and the Mets intend to ‘find a way’ as Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday night that he intends to give the top-hitting prospect some consistent at-bats.
If so, it shouldn’t be long before we see Flores rip his first knock in the show and with it receiving his inaugural major-league whip-cream ambush, which master-pie thrower Justin Turner says will “hopefully” be soon.