#6 – SS Wilmer Flores

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’3”/175 lbs

Acquired: NDFA

Born: 8/6/91 (Valencia, VZ)

2009 Rank: 2

Why Ranked Here: Flores is blessed with excellent hand eye coordination, which helps him make lots and lots of contact at the plate.  A Mets official told me that for a teenager playing the SAL, his strikeout percentage was historically good, but unfortunately, I don’t have their full database at my disposal here.  He hit for power in 2008 in the Appalachian League with an extra-base hit in 9% of his PA, but that rate was nearly halved to 4.7% in 2009 as 17-year old in the SAL.  However his big body and room for growth and strength give hope that he will continue to add power as he ages and end up with above average big league power.

One problem for Flores is that he’s very unlikely to stay at shortstop. Already a below-average runner, he’s not going to get any faster and below average runners can’t cover the ground demanded of MLB SS.  His arm is strong enough to play third, but he’ll have to learn the footwork for the hot corner. How far down the defensive spectrum Flores eventually moves will have a lot to say about his long-term value.  The Mets were concerned about Flores’ shape and eating habits and made some changes to help the teen learn good habits that helped result in a much healthier and stronger ballplayer as the 2009 season progressed.

2009: Flores seemed to be figuring things out in June (.309/.340/.426/) and July (.282/.310/.364) before running out of gas in August (.188/.245/.198).

Dr. Pangloss Says: He’s going to hit.  So, lets say he sticks at third base and he becomes an All-Star with the bat there.

Debbie Downer Says: He lands at 1B and doesn’t hit for enough power to be an impact guy over there.

Projected 2010 Start: Savannah

MLB Arrival: September 2013

08 R – APP 59 245 76 12 4 8 12 28 2 1 .310 .352 .490 4.5 10.5 9.0 .322
08 A – SAL 1 5 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .400 .400 .400 0.0 40.0 0.0 .667
08 SSA – NYP 8 30 8 1 0 0 1 7 0 0 .267 .290 .300 3.1 21.9 3.1 .348
09 A – SAL 125 488 129 20 2 3 22 72 3 3 .264 .305 .332 4.2 13.6 4.7 .301

There are 5 comments

  1. MrMustSeeTv


    I saw Wilmer play in Brooklyn in 2008. Even then he seemed to have average speed, but not great speed so I hear you on that point. That said, unless he’s sporting Bengie Molina speed these day, don’t you think his arm is strong enough to play in right field? His average speed could at least allow him to cover left field, so he wouldn’t have to deal with the nooks in Citi Field’s right field area. Thoughts?

    I think Wilmer is much more valuable as a corner OF than a 1B.

      1. LoveOfTheGame

        Toby, do you really think he’s fast enough to play in the OF?

        I think he’s stuck to moving to 3B (he’s got a vacuum for a glove) or 1B. I don’t think he has the speed to be in the corner OF position. They’ll keep him at the primo position for trade value, but like Beckham, he’s going to have to come off the position.

  2. WC

    been various reports on his speed, but they all range from below average to just above Molina-esque. And he’ll get slower as he gets bigger, most likely. Have to see where he ends up to know whether LF is an option

    side note, interesting fluff piece in the Times mentioning K-Rod looking after Urbina and other young Venezuelan kids at the request of Ugeth

    Most relevant bit being Juan consistently hitting 90 this spring

  3. Michael Diaz

    I talked to a scout about Flores, and there was a concerned about Flores’ work ethic. The kid has been given so much hype, you gotta believe that he has been babied way too much. Now with Tony B gone, maybe things change a little. Hate to see kids with big time talent, not work tirelessly to get bigger, better, stronger. You have to have a wait and see approach with the way these kids handle being a professional. Its a huge step in development that most of the times gets undervalued.

    That being said, Flores is a high ceiling, but very low floor prospect. I believe he will hit, and hit for power down the road. Defensively, I can see him at 3B. Good hands and a strong arm, but it depends how much weight he puts on.

    Another round at Savannah, with a possible trip to St Lucie later in the summer, is the best scenario possible for him. I am looking forward to a big year from Flores.

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