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When Did Wilmer Flores Become A Good Shortstop?
- Updated: March 14, 2014
Yesterday afternoon Metsblog had an interesting poll about what the Mets should do at the shortstop position.
With Ruben Tejada continuing his uninspiring play during the spring, the poll gave people five options to choose from.
1. Sign Stephen Drew to a two-year, $24 million contract
2. Give the job to Wilmer Flores
3. Trade Plawecki and Montero for a Owings or Gregorious
4. Give Tejada another chance
5. Trade Montero for Franklin
The majority of the voters, over 70% of them to be exact, thought the Mets solution really boiled down to two things.
Sign former Boston Red Sox Stephen Drew to the two year deal referenced in the poll or just give the job to Wilmer Flores outright.
The same Wilmer Flores who hasn’t played shortstop on a full time basis since he was with Class A Port St. Lucie in 2011.
It was at that time the Mets, run by the same guys who are running it today, decided that shortstop was not going to be the position that he would play well enough to make the majors.
Since then, he has played the other three positions on the infield and has been ok at best defensively. It is his bat that has carried him through the minor leagues and eventually a call up to the Mets last August.
The current shortstop on the Mets, Ruben Tejada hit .289 in 2012 and seemed to be a young player that was ready to make a leap forward and take control of the shortstop position after Jose Reyes left as a Free Agent.
In 2013 he regressed and basically upset everyone, fans, Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson along the the way and this year he hasn’t helped change the perception he set last season.
Of course, last night we found out that Terry told Ruben that the job is his and he shouldn’t worry. Either the dreaded vote of confidence or the truth, take the news however you want.
I’m not the biggest fan of Stephen Drew personally and really don’t think that he puts the Mets any closer to the Braves, Giants and Reds in the chase for the NL second wild card position.
But he is certainly a much better option at this point that Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores. The fact that Flores can hit is obviously a huge bonus and his bat is the reason most fans voted in his favor in the poll.
Ruben Tejada has at this point, no matter Collins has said publicly, worn out his welcome and I think will never recapture the type of season he had in 2012.
I applaud him for doing what the organization wanted and heading to Michigan for extra off-season workouts and showing up early to camp but that has done little to help him so far and I doubt it will ever truly help him.
For Wilmer Flores, I understand his bat is what gives everyone a dream that he can be in the lineup everyday and produce as he has in the minors. But the guy has not played SS in a few years and the organization already once thought he couldn’t play it well enough.
To me this experiment for Flores just shows me that the Mets are so desperate not to spend any more money than it has to and will do everything it can in its power not to spend on Drew.
If they truly don’t think Drew is worth what he has been asking for, even at this late date as he continues to workout at Boras World, then it is what it is.
But, this notion, that a good section of the fans that voted in that poll, that the Mets should just hand the job to Flores without seeing more from him than we have in the field is comical.
Wilmer Flores is the like the backup QB on an NFL team with a struggling QB. I mean he can’t be any worse than what is already out there, so why not give him a shot!
It certainly is an idea but not exactly one rooted in much thought other than “Tejada sucks, Drew is too expensive or not worthy, so lets just throw Flores out there.”
Over time, Wilmer Flores can definitely improve his defense enough to warrant him starting as the everyday shortstop.
But today is not that day, which makes me wonder… When did Wilmer Flores become good enough to be the Mets everyday shortstop?