2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 6 Wilmer Flores, 2B

An article by posted on February 6, 2014 0 Comments

Top 25 Prospects flores 6

No. 6 Wilmer Flores

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Wilmer Flores is a bit of a mystery. He was signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2007 and we’ve been hearing about him ever since. Earlier in his career, he drew comparisons to Miguel Cabrera, but those have since came back down to earth. He is similar to Cabrera in that his below average speed and slow footwork will limit his ability to play most of the positions on the field, likely making a corner infield spot his future home. Unfortunately, his power will severely limit his value as a first baseman, whereas Cabrera’s won’t. He has the frame to hit for above average power but at the moment, his swing seems to be geared more towards contact. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though as his ability to cover all parts of the plate with his swing gives him the potential to hit around .300 in the big leagues. There have been efforts to improve his footwork and speed to see if he can stick at second base but there’s two problems with that motive. One is that he’ll likely add more bulk as he ages and adds more strength, which will probably make him even slower. Second is that as long as Daniel Murphy is on the team, he should be playing second base. I know some have been advocates of moving Daniel Murphy to first and slotting Flores at second but I’m not going to get into why I think that is a bad idea right now.

Anyway, after slashing .321/.357/.531 in the hitter’s paradise that is AAA Las Vegas, Flores was called up to the Show on his birthday, a game I was fortunate enough to attend. In 27 games (95 AB’s) in the majors, Flores slashed .211/.248/.295 with 1 HR and 13 RBI’s. Before judging those numbers, it is worth noting he played the majority of this time on two gimpy ankles. His impatience is really the only flaw in his offensive game as he has a nice swing, tends to make a lot of contact and hits plenty of line drives. However, he’ll probably never have a high on base percentage, it’s just not part of his game. The only question, and it’s a big one, is where he’ll play.

Outlook: I think the best defensive home for Flores on a National League team is third base, where his strong arm will make up for his slow footwork. Plus he looked pretty comfortable playing there last season. Unfortunately, there’s this guy named David Wright and that position seems to be his for the foreseeable future, maybe you’ve heard of him. That really only gives Flores the opportunity to crack the opening day roster as a first basemen but the fact that the Mets have Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Josh Satin in front of him makes that scenario unlikely. He’ll probably start the season in AAA again and if he hits there like he did last season, it will be very hard for the Mets not to find a spot for him to play, especially if first base gets the same atrocious production as it did last season. Flores is probably better off on another team as a third basemen or DH but he hasn’t proved he can hit at the major league level yet so it’s not smart for the Mets to just give him away in a trade. It would make more sense to get him some at bats first to see what they’ve got. Maybe he will hit for enough power to stick at first. Maybe someone will go down with an injury and Flores will get another opportunity. Maybe he’ll be a good utility player off the bench that can play any position in the infield besides shortstop. We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out. One thing is for sure though, this kid can hit.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP

13. Dilson Herrera, 2B

12. Jake deGrom, RHP

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS

10. Steven Matz, LHP

9. Brandon Nimmo, CF

8. Amed Rosario, SS

7. Cesar Puello, OF

6. Wilmer Flores, 2B

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About the Author ()

Peter grew up in Brewster, NY and has been a Mets fan as long as he can remember. He now resides in Massachusetts and despite the recent success of the Red Sox, he has remained loyal. He is currently a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst working towards a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Follow Peter on Twitter: @peteanselmo