Flores has always made contact well, but he’s gradually improved his feel for the strike zone and began maturing into his power last year. Although scouts still wonder exactly how many home runs he’ll hit, there’s no question that he’s made real progress.
That’s what baseball prospect expert John Sickels had to say about Mets “third baseman” Wilmer Flores this morning. Sickels gives Flores a B+ grade heading into the 2013 season, and last week Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com rated Flores as the ninth best prospect at the third base position.
The problem with Flores is that the Mets just signed David Wright to a huge contract, so calling the 21-year-old a third baseman just doesn’t make sense anymore. We already know that Flores isn’t quick enough to play shortstop, but Sickels says that he “performed adequately” at both second and third last season. Second base would make a lot more sense given the long-term viability of Wright and Ike Davis at the infield corners. New York’s current second baseman Daniel Murphy is much more expendable as evidenced by the bountiful trade rumors involving him last season.
The ideal situation would be for Flores to play in the outfield, where the Mets are in dire straights. However, according to Sickels, Flores doesn’t run well enough to make the outfield an attractive position for him. It would be wise for the Mets this season to find out for sure if Flores cannot play the outfield, because other than that, second base is his only realistic option for him barring a trade of Ike Davis.
It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle Flores throughout the season. Meanwhile, three prospects that the Mets acquired over the past two years received high accolades from MLB.com last night. Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard all landed on the website’s top 100 prospects list, with d’Arnaud and Wheeler getting in the top 10. With both of those players expected to make their major league debuts this season, it is a very exciting time for the future of the team, if not the present.