The hits keep on coming for Wilmer Flores and the power has been emerging too. On Friday night, the Mets de facto shortstop blasted a prodigious 431 foot home run into the second deck of Great American Ball Park.
It was his third home run of the season and after his two-hit night, Flores now has 11 hits in his last 30 at-bats with a 1.040 OPS.
“Some guys it takes a little time to learn how to drive the ball at this level and what you have to do. Everybody said they’re going to hit. So far hes shown that. He and Travis have come here after some slow starts in the beginning and shown what they can do offensively.”
Flores has also held his own defensively and then some. Small sample size, but he has a 2.7 Ultimate Zone Rating, a 11.7 UZR/150 and for you old-schoolers a .981 fielding percentage.
One thing that has gone widely unreported since mid-August has been the play of shortstop Wilmer Flores who is growing more comfortable at the position with the increased and regular playing time. Even his range which has been one the indictments against him, has appeared to be significantly better than what was initially reported, and his arm is clearly a plus-tool.
In addition to some sharp defensive play including two ESPN Web Gems in the last nine days, Flores has also seen a much better performance at the plate of late, slashing at .375/.423/.542 in his last 27 plate appearances with a .965 OPS.
Even with the agonizingly slow start, Flores is batting .273 with a .643 OPS in 47 games spanning 137 plate appearances against righthanded pitching. However, he’s significantly ramped up that performance since the calendar turned to August.
Terry Collins still continues to toy with Flores in his lineup, and after going 3-for-4 on Sunday while batting fifth, he was dropped to the eighth spot in the order the next day.
Still, Flores has yet to accrue 300 at-bats as a major leaguer, and it wasn’t until fellow rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit that benchmark that he began to emerge offensively. It looks like the 22-year old Flores is following that same learning curve.