Flores Goes Yard in Gnats Win

Aflores-head-shot – South Atlantic League

Savannah Sand Gnats 6, @ Rome Braves 3

SS Wilmer Flores (.257/.304/.329 – pictured) broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homerun, his second of the year, in the fifth inning that put the Gnats out in front for good.  Last year with Kingsport, in the Appalachian League, Flores hit .310/.352/.490 with remarkable power for a 16-year old.  In 245 AB, he had 24 XBH, or one extra base hit every 10.2 AB.  Jumped two levels to the SAL, the 17-year old has seen that rate nearly halved to one extra base hit every 19.1 AB (11 XBH, 210 AB). Flores will likely repeat the SAL next year at age 18, so it will be very interesting to see whether his XBH production returns to his previously established levels.

DH Jean Luc Blaquiere also lifted a two-run homer for the Gnats.

1B Josh Satin (.311/.414/.414) was 3-4 with a double.

Jeurys Familia (4-4, 3.25) survived 5.2 innings to grab his fourth win.  He gave up three runs on seven hits, walked two and fanned six.

There are 12 comments

  1. theperfectgame

    Actually, the way the Mets have operated lately, Flores will probably start 2010 in Binghamton…

    Seriously, though, I hope they let him repeat at Savannah. Robert Shields could help make that decision easier with a productive summer in Brooklyn.

    1. NateW

      haha! regarding the rushing.

      They did let Pena repeat the SAL at a similar age. And with Coronado, Tejada, and Havens i cant see how he is rushed next year. If anything, someone like Valdespin should be pushed to match his age.

      Marte would be the more interesting call with the lack of real prospects on the 3B depth chart, but the way he hasn’t hit I can’t see them putting him in the FSL to start next year. I wonder if Coronado as the AA 3B is an option…

      With the lack of a high number of college draft picks this year the St. Lucie 2010 roster could be weak, which could lead to some rushing or (re)signing of some A ball retreads. Just on the position player side of things that is.

  2. Not4Nuttin

    I assume that discussion of repeating Savannah is based upon Flores production this year. And that if Flores tears it up the rest of the summer, it is probably safe to assume that Flores would then start 2010 in St. Lucie?

    Assuming he does repeat Savannah, I cannot see how that does not have a negative impact on the kid’s psyche. It strikes me that repeating a year at one level would not be a good thing for any prospect’s psyche. Not saying its a death knell, and it happens enough, but would think that all things being equal, its better for a prospects psyche to always feel like he is moving forward.

    Maybe his situation (and Marte’s) were good exceptions to the rule, as short season ball would not provide enough AB’s, so start them out in full season low A ball. I can see that, I guess. Or is that a distinction that is meaningless with extended spring training, etc?

  3. NickM

    no chance flores starts 2010 in AA .. if he puts up solid averages in the SAL he MIGHT get bumped to the FSL next year.. but AA is really pushing it, and there is no need to rush him like that, especially when he isn’t conquering the SAL yet

    1. theperfectgame

      Yeah, the AA comment I made was purely in jest, poking fun at the Mets for their penchant for aggressively pushing their international signees. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear. There is NO way the Mets should or will start Flores off at AA next spring.

  4. MrMustSeeTv

    I always question Tony Bernazard and Omar Minaya’s development philosophy. I am old school in that I think that a player is best served by spending one entire season at one level, succeeding then moving up.

    Rushing Wilmer Flores, Francisco Pena, Ruben Tejeda, and F-Mart for two years, did nothing to enhance their skils. I argue it’s couner-productive for a number of reasons:

    1) A prospect can easily be overwhelmed by being rushed. If he struggles, he could lose confidence which could have a long-term effect on his development.

    2) Playing a 19 year-old in a higher-level league could lead to injuries. The higher the level in the minors the more games are played back-to-back. Some young players’ bodies are not developed enough for the rigors of such a schedule. I was always of the belief that this was one of the reasons why F-Mart kept breaking down in AA.

    3) If a player struggles, his trade value is diminished which means you can’t flip them for major league help.

    I think the Mets need to re-evaluate two things in their organization after this season: (1) one is player development and (2) is their medical and training staff.

    1. theperfectgame

      I agree with the sentiment of your post, that rushing younger players, especially when there are clearly elements of their game that need work is potentially damaging to their development and, to a lesser extent, their trade value (any franchise will value their scouts’ impressions over statistical production, so I’m less convinced that this is a major issue).

      That said, your reasoning behind #2 is flawed. There is absolutely no difference in terms of frequency of play among the levels. Single A Savannah has currently played 65 games, compared to 63 for AAA Buffalo. Even the big league club has only played 64 games (despite starting their season 3 days before the Sand Gnats). Additionally, 17-year-old Savannah third baseman Jefry Marte has 274 plate appearances this year, compared to Met third baseman David Wright’s 271. Games are played almost every day at almost every level of ball. Once the short season leagues start up, those guys play almost every day, too (for example, the 13th is the only day in July the Brooklyn Cyclones do not have a game scheduled).

      1. stickguy

        some of these kids come out of programs where they play 200 games a eyar, with school, toruneyments, legion, etc. They also play nearly year round where the weather permits. Plus they have practices.

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