Wilmer Flores Optioned, Will Begin Season At Triple-A

An article by posted on March 24, 2014

USATSI wilmer flores Photo by Brad Barr

Wilmer Flores has been optioned to minor league camp and will begin the season with Triple-A Las Vegas along with Matt den DekkerKirk Nieuwenhuis and Zach Lutz.

The Mets will use Flores at shortstop and second base with Las Vegas to continue to gauge his worthiness, writes Adam Rubin.

“I feel good,” Flores said after receiving the news. “I did a great job. I’ll just wait for the opportunity to come again.”

Ruben Tejada is your starting shortstop. 

6:00 AM

I’ve said all I have to say on whether I think Wilmer Flores can handle shortstop. I don’t think it will be a problem, and one scout I spoke to said concerns about his range are overstated and he’d take Flores on his team any day. It was an NL East scout.

Range limitation? What range limitation?

I came across this post at Amazin Avenue where they created a GIF of Flores ranging to his right to make an incredible play last week against the Detroit Tigers.

Wilmer_Flores_nice_play_at_shortstop

Anybody have a problem with that?

What do your eyes tell you?

Teddy Klein, who worked with former Mets International scouting director Ismael Cruz, developed scouting videos for the Mets, and is the closest thing we have on MMO to a real scout, went completely out of his comfort zone and emailed me something that is so not him. 

Hey Joe, Wilmer Flores is hitting well as a Shortstop… 

With all the frustration over our shortstop situation that have many screaming “Drew!”, others screaming“Franklin!”, and the Front Office screaming “Tejada!”, I’m starting to warm up to the slow-footed, but offensively gifted, Wilmer Flores at shortstop.

I noticed he’d been batting .360 over his last 7 games and decided to see how his numbers broke out by position this Spring. I think you’ll like what you see.

STATS

Flores is succeeding considerably well since he began playing as a shortstop. It’s a terribly small sample size, but sometimes we have to make decisions on even smaller sample sizes, and the key is also observing a variety of other things that help to complete the picture.

Honestly, it could be a coincidence, or he could simply be much more comfortable as a hitter at shortstop, where he’s played the majority of his time both as a pro and an amateur. Again, this is a terribly small sample size.

Thanks, Teddy, certainly something else to consider…

On Saturday, when Flores had three hits, homered and drove in four, I was reminded of how he led the organization with 99 RBI in 2013 and when Wally Backman first told MMO, “His eyes light up when there’s runners on base. That guy thrives in those RBI opportunities.”

Most of you remember what we saw as soon as Flores was promoted to the majors before an ankle injury ruined his debut and wiped out his season. The kid completely energized the Mets lineup and was a literal RBI Machine.

Mark Simon chronicled it on August 12 and wrote:

  • Wilmer Flores became the first player in Mets history to have at least one RBI in five of his first six major-league games.
  • He also became the second player this season to have a pair of three-RBI games within his first five career games, joining Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig.
  • Flores is one of eight players in MLB history to have a streak of five straight games with an RBI within the first six games of his career.
  • Flores is the third player in Mets history to collect nine or more RBIs in his first six games with the club.

The next day, Flores twisted his ankle as he stepped on second base while running from first to third, limped off the field, and was never the same.

Over the last four seasons, Flores has averaged about a .760 OPS, and in the last two seasons that average was.850. Can you imagine what a bat like that could do in a lineup that already has the likes of David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy? It’s a game-changer.

(Photo: Brad Barr, USATSI)

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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