Wilmer Flores is almost certainly not the long-term answer for the Mets at shortstop, solely because his range at the position is so poor. With that out of the way, I can write that Wilmer Flores should be playing shortstop every day for the Mets for the remainder of 2014.
Because Flores, at 22 years old, has hit at every level he’s been at, often as one of the youngest position players in the league. Most recently, he hit .326 in 2012 for Double-A Binghamton, and hit .342 in 2013 for Triple-A Las Vegas.
As evidenced by his minor league numbers, Flores also has solid power potential.
The current issue with Flores is that he doesn’t have a position, not that he isn’t good enough to be a solid major leaguer.
Recently, Mets manager Terry Collins said he gave Flores a few starts to get the writers off his back. It was an absurd thing to say, and speaks to Collins’ at times nonsensical lineup choices.
Playing Flores at shortstop for the remainder of 2014 would give the Mets the chance to evaluate his bat properly at the big league level, and determine whether he can be a piece for them at either second base or perhaps part of a platoon at first base (if they decide to continue sitting Lucas Duda against lefties).
Playing Flores at shortstop would also make Ruben Tejada the backup middle infielder, which is perhaps his legitimate major league ceiling.
For the year, Tejada is hitting .228 with a .281 slugging percentage. His OBP of .349 has been inflated due to over a dozen intentional walks and lots of pitch-arounds with the pitcher ordinarily hitting behind him.
In July, Tejada hit .212 with a .242 slugging percentage.
So far in August, Tejada has one hit in 11 at-bats.
With his 2014 performance, and after a dreadful 2013 campaign, the Mets know at this point in time that Ruben Tejada is not the answer for the Mets at shortstop – nor is he the answer for them as a starter anywhere else on the diamond.
Wilmer Flores, on the other hand, may be an answer for the Mets as a starter – especially if the club trades Daniel Murphy.
It’s time to see what Flores can do.