Good morning, Mets fans!
Tough loss last night. But even though we came up short, there were a few bright spots. One of those bright spots was Wilmer Flores, who got the start at shortstop and had 3 hits.
Flores was called up a couple weeks ago, but due to sickness and Terry Collins, had mostly ridden the bench in Flushing. However, Wilmer has now started each of the past 2 games.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Mets should start using Omar Quintanilla instead of Ruben Tejada, just to shake things up. The problem was that, while Tejada “is what he is” at this point, the same words applied to Omar.
Flores is different. We haven’t seen much of him. He has barely over 100 major league at-bats. He is 22 years old. He recently started learning to play shortstop. And so, despite the fact that we’ve been hearing his name for what feels like 10 years, he’s pretty raw. He has upside. He has potential.
And he’s already our best hitting shortstop, since the Mets had him reprise the role this season in the minors in an effort to eventually get his bat in the lineup. Ruben Tejada is NOT a hitter. Flores looks much more comfortable at the plate, can drive the ball to all fields, has a much better approach, and even when he fails, he just looks more competent out there than Ruben does. In the shortstop competition, Flores already has the battle of the bats won, and he still has a lot of potential and room for improvement.
Tejada is a better defensive shortstop than Flores. That’s the only reason he is still relevant in this discussion. But the gap between them is closing as Flores continues to adjust to the position and Tejada continues an apparent regression from his fantastic defensive play in 2011 and 2012 (when he was also solid with the bat, hitting over .280).
Neither player is a defensive wizard. Neither player has the best instincts. Neither player is fleet of foot. Neither player will ever be José Reyes.
But Flores is a hitter. Tejada is not. Flores is a prospect. Tejada is not. Flores has market value that can be parlayed into a package deal for an impact, game-changing player. Tejada does not.
Enough with the flip-flopping. Wilmer Flores should be out there 5 days a week. It’s time to really see what he’s got.