Wilmer Flores weighs in on outside doubts
Wilmer Flores, who is slated to be the Mets’ starting shortstop in 2015, has taken just two weeks off since the season ended. He’s played in Venezuela, attended Mike Barwis’ training camp, and he’s also heard the doubts from those who feel he can’t play shortstop.
While speaking with Marc Carig of Newsday, Flores said:
"You hear people talking all the time: Is this guy going to be a shortstop? Can he play shortstop? Can he not? You know what? I can’t listen to that. I want to play the way I’ve been playing…I’m trying to do what I can. I’m working hard. I’m working really hard. At the end of the day, if things don’t go well, you know what? I did my best…There’s nothing else I can do but work hard and try to get better.”I’m not going to say I don’t hear things, but I try not to because I know what I can do, man. Honestly, I know what I can do…Not everyone can play shortstop in the big leagues. I think I did a pretty good job at short. I was impressed with what I did. I just want to do it again."
Flores, 23, hit .251/.286/.378 in 274 plate appearances over 78 games for the Mets in 2014.
Defensively, Flores made the majority of the routine plays at shortstop, but displayed an expected lack of range.
According to Mark Simon of ESPN, Flores’ rate of “out of zone” plays was especially poor.
As he did before last season, Flores is working hard in order to improve – especially when it comes to his agility. That should be commended.
Still, the belief among most scouts is that Flores simply does not have the range necessary to be an acceptable fielder at shortstop.
With another range-challenged player at second base (Daniel Murphy), the Mets may be entering the 2015 season at a severe disadvantage up the middle defensively.
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