Final Winter-Ball Update and a New Player of the Week – Hey Wilmer

The Caribbean Winter League regular season ended in the Dominican Republic on December 22, and in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela on Monday, the 30th. This will be the last full Winter League update.

2014 Mets
Wilmer Flores (Bravos de Margarita – VWL) – Two doubles on Sunday night in a 3-for-4 effort were his first extra-base hits in eight games. In three games in the last week, he was 3-for-10 with those pair of doubles, no walks and a strikeout. The 22-year-old Flores is sitting at a healthy .375/.434/.545 with nine extra-base hits, nine walks and 10 strikeouts in 23 games in Venezuela this winter. This week, Flores DHed once, and played one game each at second and at third, where he committed his fourth error overall, a throwing miscue.

Juan Lagares (Aguilas Cibaenas – DWL) –  Out of action since December 2, resting his knee.

Can You Be the 25th Man in the Bullpen?
Joel Carreno (Escogido - DWL) – Carreno finished the regular DWL season at 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 17 relief appearances. In 17.1 innings, he fanned 20, walked six and gave up 12 hits.

Jeurys Familia (Gigantes del Cibao – DWL) – Familia finished the DWL regular season at 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six appearances. In 6.2 innings, he fanned 12 and walked three while giving up four runs, two earned, on eight hits.

Gonzlez Germen  (Toros del Este – DWL) - The 26-year-old was 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 appearances. In 9.1 innings, he walked five and struck out five, while allowing three runs on 12 hits. He did not appear in a game since November 30.

See You in Sin City (Projected Las Vegas 51s on Opening Day 2014)
- C Juan Centeno
 – (Gigantes de Carolina – PWL) – An 0-for-7 week took the 24-year-old’s line in the PWL down to .280/.337/.360 with six walks and 10 strikeouts in 28 games for Carolina.

- LHP Chase Huchingson (Aguilas del Zulia - VWL) – The 24-year-old did not make an appearance in the final week of the Zulia’s schedule. Overall, in 5.1 innings over nine appearances, he’s walked eight and fanned five. That’s not good.

- OF Cesar Puello  (Toros del Este – DWL) – The 22-year-old finished his DWL with a light .200/.251/.261 line with one double, two homers, five walks and 30 strikeouts in 41 games.

- SS Wilfredo Tovar (Bravos de Margarita – VWL)  A mid-season trade after 15 undistinguished games for Navegantes del Magallanes sent Tovar to Wilmer Flores’ Margarita team where he is 7-for-21 with a pair of doubles and walks  (.333/.417/.429 in six games).

RHP Ryan Fraser (Leones de Ponce – PWL) – No appearances since November 17.

Bingo Bound/Hoping to break camp in AA
INF TJ Rivera (Indios de Mayaguez PWL) – The 25-year-old has not played since December 9. He will finish his PWL season at .308/.357/.538 with one homer and one walk in nine games.

Xorge Carrillo (Aguilas de Mexicali – LMP) – The 24-year-old was 3-for-11 this week for Mexicali and sits at .290/.352/.398 overall with 13 extra-base hits, 12 walks and 33 strikeouts in 54 games. He’s an aggressive hitter, who has never played more than 36 games in a single US season. His nice winter should help him earn a job backing up Kevin Plawecki in AA in 2014 or maybe even Juan Centeno in AAA. One issue here: I think the LMP plays like an a-ball league, or lower.

Jon Velasquez (Cangrejeros de Santurce - PWL) – Velasquez, who the Mets grabbed in the Rule 5 draft at the end of the Winter Meetings allowed one unearned run in 2.2 innings over three outings this week with two walks and six strikeouts. In Puerto Rico, he’s 3-0 wit ha 1.73 ERA in 26 innings with 26 strikeouts against eight walks and 18 hits.

-RHP Miller Diaz (Leones del Caracas VWL) – A starter in Brooklyn in 2013, Diaz will likely open 2014 in the Savannah rotation. He did not throw last week.

- Juan Carlos Gamboa (Caneros de los Mochis – Liga Mexicana del Pacifico) – A 3-for-13 week dropped Gamboa’s line to .300/.398/.414 in 26 games in Mexico this winter. He hit .195/.269/.271 in 32 games with Brooklyn in 2013 as a 22-year old while repeating the NYP League. Is the Mexican Winter League really easier than the New York Penn League?

- Marcos Camarena ( Tomateros de Culiacan – Liga Mexicana del Pacifico) – Working exclusively out of the bullpen for the Tomateros, Camarena has run a 2.22 ERA in 28.1 innings over 25 games with 23 strikeouts against two walks. This week was his roughest yet – with three runs allowed on seven hits in his final 2.2 innings of work.

And Our Player of the Week…
Wilmer Flores
There were few viable candidates, but Flores hit .300 (3-for-10) with a couple of doubles.


I think we've been conditioned to undervalue Flores because he has no position. Now while defense matters a whole lot, it will never matter as much as offense. A guy that can hit, is a guy you need to find a position for. Barring trades of Ike and/or Murphy, I believe Flores is ticketed for Vegas. Development wise that could be fine, however, it'd be nice to be giving him everyday at-bats in the big leagues so we can see if that bat can play here. 


Is it totally unrealistic to think Flores can hit .300+ with 20+ homers. His development the last two years seems to suggest that's very realistic. If that's the case, why isn't he a top 1B prospect. I think it's a bit disingenuous to say his defense at 1B won't be good. I'm fine to send him to Vegas to learn 1B to start the season. Let Ike play 1B to start the season. May be hearing Flores' footsteps will be a motivation for Ike. Hopefully there will be stronger market for Ike's services at the trade deadline.



When most people say Flores can't play defense, they aren't thinking of him at 1B. At 1B, I think his defense will be fine, especially if he's given the chance to learn the position, and not just jettisoned all around the INF. The Mets seem set on trading Ike, so I'm hoping for the best return there. Duda-Satin until June 1st. That gives ample time for Flores to get comfortable at 1B, and to let the bat and his confidence keep growing. To be honest, I think he's our best hope at 1B in the short term...and that's even if he doesn't post the line you're asking about.

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@chavez06 The lack of plate discipline is his achilles heel. He walked at a 5% rate in the majors this year, and that seems like a realistic projection going forward given his minor league history. But no qualified 1B had a BB% below 7 this year. It's hard to hold down a job at 1B while being a hacker.