In this edition of the Mets Season in Review, we’ll take a look infielder Wilmer Flores. Flores came up to the big club on August 6th when he and the Mets faced off against the Colorado Rockies.
How He Did at the Plate
During most of the 2013 campaign, Flores played for the Mets’ Triple A affiliate in Las Vegas. With the 51s, Flores absolutely raked at the plate. During his 107 games in Triple A, Flores put up a impressive line of .321/.357/.531. For his efforts, he was named to the Top 20 of Baseball America’s list of top prospects in the Pacific Coast League.
Flores, who had put up fantastic numbers at every level of the Minor Leagues, was finally promoted to the Mets in early August. Despite going hit-less in his first game with the Mets, he came through in his second game with his first two hits, including a three-run double to give the Mets the lead and an eventual win.
In his first week, Flores came though a few times for the Mets, and drove in nine runs during his first week in the majors. While Flores came up with a bang for the Mets, he suddenly had a terrible incident that seemed to derail his performance for the rest of the season. While going into third base in a game against the Dodgers, he twisted his ankle and had to play sporadically the next few days. After that incident, Flores seemed to struggle a bit at the plate, although this might not have been the cause of his decreasing performance. By season’s end, Flores’ line with the Mets in 27 games was .211/.248/.295. While he did struggle, his bat is his plus side, and he’ll look to improve in 2014.
How He Handled the Glove
It was a sign of things to come for Flores, as his first attempt in the Major Leagues at third base went as an error. Flores started out in the Minor Leagues as a shortstop, and the club realized he did not have much range. When he came up the bigs, it was apparent that his bat was the reason he was up. He did not have tremendous range at third, a spot where he would not be playing next year anyway. He played a few games at second base when Daniel Murphy sat, and did not seem to look comfortable at that spot. If anything next year, he will have to vie for a spot at first base, as he defense is just not adequate enough to play middle infield.
Areas to Improve Upon
If there is one thing Flores can do, it is work on his corner defense, mainly first base. If there is any shot he stays in this team for the long haul as a full-time player, he needs to be somewhat capable in the field. Next season, he needs to prove he can hit at the Major League level, so either the Mets can keep him, or move him for another piece.
Projected Role in 2014
Going into Spring Training next season, one should expect Flores to see some time at both first and second base, with more time at first base. Flores only played third base because of David Wright’s injury, so his only chance of making the team will be playing at one of these two spots. Depending on what the Mets do, Flores could either be a full-time player, or one that is just not part of the plans as the team moves into the future.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
While his contract is a non-issue, Flores has been the subject of many trade rumors. The Mets are looking for other bats, mainly ones in the outfield, and Flores may be one the pieces that looks enticing for other teams in a trade. His name has been thrown around in possible trades for Carlos Gonzalez and Jose Bautista, so it would not be a surprise if the Mets do decide to ship Flores in favor of another bat in a package deal.