Mets Minor League News: Wilmer Flores Promoted to Binghamton

By Matt Musico

As he gets closer to his 21st birthday, Mets minor league prospect Wilmer Flores has come into his own at Single-A St. Lucie. After primarily playing shortstop since signing with New York on his 16th birthday (8/6/2007), he has switched to playing third base full-time and has found his power stroke. Flores received MVP honors at the FSL All-Star game over the weekend, and the organization confirmed that Flores will be promoted to Double-A, along with Cory Mazzoni, Wilfredo Tovar, and Francisco Pena.

During his 2012 season in St. Lucie, Flores has shown his growth that earned him this promotion, as he is expected to be making his debut tonight for the Binghamton Mets against the Akron Aeros. Flores has compiled 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 242 at-bats this year, already out-producing his 9 long balls in 516 at-bats in 2011. The Mets prospect is hitting at his highest clip since 2010, and has put

together a triple slash of .289/.336/.463. His on-base and slugging percentages are the highest they’ve been since 2008 when he split time between Kingsport, Brooklyn, and Savannah.

What’s been the biggest improvement is his patience at the plate. This was bound to come as he matures into the ballplayer that the Mets think he can be, but it may be happening a little sooner than expected. His previous high for walks in a season was 32, which took him 133 games between Savannah and St. Lucie to do, back in 2010. He already has 18 BBs this season in 64 at-bats and is primed to pass last year’s total (27) sooner rather than later. With his promotion and development, coupled with the Mets possibly being buyer at the trade deadline this year, could Flores have some worth on the trade market?

This is a delicate line to toe, especially since David Wright has told the organization that he will not negotiate a contract extension with the team until the season is done. So, if the unthinkable happens and Sandy Alderson isn’t able to convince Wright to stay in New York for the foreseeable future, does that mean they should hang on to a player like Flores to possibly take over third base when he’s ready for the Show? It could be a tough decision, and while Flores isn’t a top Mets prospect anymore, he could still carry some value to help out the worst (statistically speaking) bullpen in Major League Baseball.

As New York finishes their stretch of playing eight straight winning teams this weekend against the Yankees, they will have some opportunities to get healthy against some teams that are performing poorly (i.e. Cubs and Phillies). So, as we pass through the All-Star game, we’ll see how active the Mets will be to upgrade the club for a playoff push, and what opposing teams want in return.

Still sounds weird to say that, doesn’t it? Whatever, I’ll take it.