Prospect Spotlight: Wilmer Flores Is Heating Up

By Mitch Petanick

May 31, 2013 5 Comments

flores_statsWilmer Flores got off to a slow start in 2013. The 21 year-old prospect found himself in the shadow of top prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Zack Wheeler when he arrived in Las Vegas. But now we find ourselves almost two months into the season, and Flores seems to be hitting his stride offensively.

Flores is quietly putting up solid numbers this season, as you can see from the graphic at the top of the post. There have been some rumblings lately that Flores could actually be a first base option for the Mets if they decide to send Ike Davis down to work on his swing. In fact, some think that is the only place on the field where Flores can play defensively due to his lack of range.

Offensively, the kid is the goods. Over his last ten games, Flores is hitting .372 with seven doubles and 10 RBI. What really impresses me about Flores is that he doesn’t strike out much. In 51 games this season he only struck out 23 times — that means he puts the ball in play, and when you put the ball in play you put the pressure on the defense to make the outs.

The question with Flores is if the Mets don’t think he can stick in the middle-infield or a corner outfield spot, then why not start transitioning him to first base now? And I know it’s too late for this, but due to his limited range, he would have been the perfect type of guy to try and convert to a catcher. Another question is, will he be defensively strong enough at first base to justify having his bat in the lineup?

Flores has been compared to Miguel Cabrera, but that really isn’t fair to Flores, or the Mets fans who now think that they have the next Miguel Cabrera on the way. At 21 years-old, Cabrera was batting over .300 with 30 plus home runs and 100 plus RBI at the major league level — very big shoes to fill. Flores will be closer to a .285 guy with 20-25 home runs every year.

Flores is still young and actually light for his height, listed at 190 pounds. He is likely to fill out some more, and when that happens he will probably become even less mobile. Then what do the Mets do with their budding star? They have to move Flores over to first base permanently to see if it is a viable option that Flores can stick there. If not, they could have a young man with a very big bat, and no place to put him.

  • http://ifiredstevephillips.blogspot.com Hank

    I stopped comparing Flores to Cabrera last January when I went to Cooperstown and saw a picture of a 20 year old Miggy celebrating winning the World Series with the Marlins. That said, just because he’s not Miggy (no ONE is), doesn’t mean he can’t be a great contributor. He’s still only 21. He’s faced and played with older players like 95% of the time, and he’s still developing as a player.

    All that said, if 1B is the position, the transition should start now. Plus he’s got enough filling out to do and enough plate discipline to project him as an eventual .300 hitter who can hit 30 homers. I’ve always liked this kid and I hope he’s a Met going forward because I will hate seeing him being successful for some other team…Lord knows we’ve paid our dues and waited for him for so long.

  • Fonzie13

    Flores has already started playing firstbase Hank. I think the organization finally has come to the realization that that’s where he’s going to have to play if he’s going to have a successful MLB career. I still think this kid is going to be an excellent hitter.

  • Walt

    I would just like to say that MetsMinors is doing a fantastic job covering the Mets farm system as opposed to Mets Minor League blog which does not hold a candle to your site. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Pingback: Wilmer Flores Appears on Baseball America's Weekly Hot Sheet | MetsMinors.net

  • Matt Musico

    Thanks for the kind words, Walt! We appreciate it and appreciate you reading.

  • Anthony

    All of us Met fans would love to see Flores turn into that player(.300BA 25-30HR) but what has he done to make anyone think he is that type of player? We have to remember he is playing in Las Vegas right now where Brown and Hoffman look like All Stars.. Wilmer’s stats on the road are not nearly as good as his home numbers and he has no position. If he had a good glove and second or short we would be talking about solid potential but at Firstbase I don’t think so..Hopefully I am wrong..