Year End Lists By Position – 3B

Almost there… we can finish the infield by looking at Mets prospects by position with third base. It’s thin here.

It’s a much shorter list than the compilation of shortstops.  We began with catcherfirst base and second base. So, off we go to the hot corner…

Third Base
1. Wilmer Flores
2. Aderlin Rodriguez
3. Pedro Perez
4. Jhoan Urena

Wilmer Flores1. I could have made Flores the Mets top first base prospect. However, I placed him here because I think his value would be maximized by playing third, which he began doing regularly stateside in 2012.

Flores was not great at third in 2013, but I think a team can play him there everyday. He should have enough arm for third, and the hands for the position. However, his relatively slow feet will put him out of position occasionally, and put him at a higher risk of throwing errors. It’s possible he winds up playing mostly first base in the big leagues.

Flores, who will be 22 on Opening Day 2014, can hit. He’s hit at every minor league stop. However, in 2013, he posted a career-best .210 isolated slugging percentage in Las Vegas and a walk rate of 5.4%, his lowest since his Florida State League in 2010 and 2011. Once in the big leagues, his walk rate slipped to 5.0%. That is below average. It is extremely difficult to be a valuable offensive player with a walk rate that low. A quick flip through Fangraphs’ “Offense” stat, suggests that no player in the Top 30 in baseball had a walk rate that low until we get to Starling Marte at #31. Flores has been better in the winter, running walk rates of 8.2% and 9% in the last two winters in Venezuela and 7.3% in 2012 in the AA Eastern League.

Anyway, Flores won’t play third base for the Mets, unless David Wright is hurt. So, he will likely begin 2014 in Las Vegas working largely at second, with games at both first and third to stay sharp at both in case the Mets need help at either.

2. Rodriguez hit .260/.295/.427 with 14 doubles and nine homers in 62 games for St. Lucie in an injury-shortened campaign. He followed that up with a .194/.205/.222 line with zero walks and 18 strikeouts in 19 games in the Arizona Fall League. There’s real power here, but maybe nothing else.

3. I saw the best game of Pedro Perez’s life, when he smacked two home runs on July 4th. He’s a big kid who hit .264/.314/.365 at age 18 in the Appalachian League where he picked up all but nine plate appearances against pitchers older than himself.

4. Urena, who the Mets signed for $425,000 in 2011, hit .299/.351/.376 in 47 games in the GCL in 2013, while turning 19 on September 1. He drew nice reviews from

1. Baseball America’s Ben Badler “Switch-hitter who can drive the ball from both sides … he’s made a lot of strides with his pitch recognition and hitting approach and the raw power is definitely in there. He’s a big-bodied guy so he’s going to have to work to stay at third base, but the bat potential there is very intriguing.”

2. Jeff Moore (now at BP): “Urena stood out on the field because of how he moved for a guy his size.  Listed at 6’1″ 200 lbs., he’s probably put on a few additional pounds since then.  The additional size helps him generate a powerful swing, but he handles it well, especially at third base.  Despite his size, he shows good range at the position, and while he still has the inconsistencies that come with being 18, his hands are soft enough to become a good, consistent defender there.  He has a plus arm that fires the ball across the diamond with easy action.”

11 comments
drmetfan
drmetfan

It is too bad Flores has no position in this organization. And the FO seems to be setup on not trying him at 2nd and first base which really makes no sense. Flores will end up getting traded. His best position right now is 3rd base and that belongs to the captain.  

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

I guess Zach Lutz is finally graduated? I have to think he'd be #2.


Toby, have you heard anything on Jhoan Urena? Non-prospect, or just unknown?

Hank259
Hank259

I can't help but think that Flores' future is attached firmly to Murphy's. If and when the Mets trade Ike, they seem set on Duda and Satin at 1B. And as long as Murphy is here, the only everyday at-bats for Flores will be found in Vegas. I don't know if Flores can even hack it at 2B, but I keep telling myself if Murphy can learn it, so should Flores. And then when he outgrows 2B (if he hasn't already), there's no way Duda/Satin can keep him off 1B. Guess we will just have to wait and see. 

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@drmetfanThere is absolutely no evidence that they will not try him at 1st base. In Fact there is evidence the Mets front office is trying to play him somewhere else. 


Last year in AAA he played 11 games at 1st, 79 at 2nd and only 4 at 3rd base... The prior 2nd half of the year in AA he played 24 at 2nd and 26 at 3rd. 


The problem is Murphy has been pretty good at 2nd base... Wright is cemented at 3rd... so it's really only 1st base right now... There is a Mess at 1st with Duda, Satin, Ike RIGHT NOW...


Also Flores is only 22. So there is no real immediate RUSH per say

tobyhyde
tobyhyde

@NegronChuck @AVSNY 1. In '14 Satin/Duda likely more productive offensively (see: walk rate), 2. loses flexibility moving forward

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Hank259Agreed... These situations somewhow find a way to sort themselves out. No need to RUSH decisions that aren't necessary... Someone will end up injured (could be flores) or traded...

mistermet
mistermet

@Mark Kelly @drmetfan The only "rush" with Flores is that he's up against the options clock at this point. The Mets added him to the 40-man roster in the winter of 2011 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, meaning he's already gone through 2 option years (2012 and 2013). With 2014 looking like his last option year, they're going to have to figure out what his role is sooner rather than later if they do start him off at Vegas in 2014.