Is a Smith and Flores Platoon the Best Option at First?

With the Mets searching for either a second or third baseman, Wilmer Flores figures to be without a full-time job.

However, with the team seemingly not 100 percent confident in handing the full-time first base job to Dominic Smith, a platoon between Flores and the 22-year-old could help maximize both their values.

Flores, 26, appeared in 110 games for New York in 2017, hitting to a .271/.307/.488 slash line with a career-high 18 homers to go along with 52 RBI over 362 plate appearances. He also recorded a 106 wRC+ and .331 wOBA.

Last year, Flores spent the most time at third base, where he struggled mightily. Over 425.2 innings at the hot corner, he had -8 defensive runs saved and a -2.8 UZR. At first base in 341.2 career innings, he has -1 DRS and a 1.6 UZR.

What would make a platoon between these two work is that Flores is a strong hitter against southpaws, hitting .291 against them this past year. In a limited sample size, the left-handed hitting Smith performed better against righties.

Smith logged just 183 big league plate appearances and hit to a dismal .198/.262/.395 clip, with nine home runs. All nine of his long balls came against righties.

There has been some talk about the Mets going out and finding a platoon partner for Smith, as well as being linked to the likes of Adam Lind or Logan Morrison, but with other needs to fill around the diamond, a Flores and Smith platoon could be the most effective.

Plus, it would allow Flores to not have to play a position like shortstop or third base where he has performed poorly at throughout his career.

About Rob Piersall 1211 Articles
Rob Piersall is a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, studying journalism with a minor in communications. He is also the managing editor for his school's newspaper, The Oracle. A Mets fan since the age of six in 2001, Rob is senior editor here at MMO. His favorite thing is reporting breaking Mets news and transactions as well as writing columns. He is also ready to see what Mickey Callaway brings to the table in 2018. LGM! Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobPiersall.