It seems like just last week I was hearing about some young phenom named Fernando Martinez launching majestic home runs nightly for Double-A Binghamton. Nowadays, we’re starting to learn more about a new stud whose making some noise on the farm. 18-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Wilmer Flores continues to turn heads and provide a presence at the plate that is well beyond his years.
Flores is sporting a .286/.352/.451 clip for Class A Savannah of the South Atlantic League thus far this season. According to Scouting the Sally, Flores is maturing rapidly at the plate. He tacked on 10-15 pounds of muscle during the off-season, and once he makes it to the show he is projected to possess ample power from the right side. We’re talking about a kid who batted .307 between Rookie and A ball in 2008 as a 16-year-old.
Looking at videos of Flores’ swing, I really like the fluent motion of his hands as he keeps his weight back and lets the ball travel to him. Also, for a hitter who keeps his feet relatively close together in the box, his stride is short, allowing for a compact and more controlled swing. The talent is raw, but the tools are all definitely there for Flores.
The main question for Flores is where he will be placed in the field when he arrives in the big leagues. He is said to be more fit for a corner infield or outfield position and will have to give up reigns at shortstop eventually. As he fills into his 18-year-old body, only time will tell.
The future is bright for Flores, whether he ends up playing in Queens or not. Mets fans have seen their fair share of young talent packaged away in trades for disappointing players over the years, and the thought of names like Victor Zambrano, Roberto Alomar, and Mike Bordick are nauseating.
The Mets have recently been seeing their homegrown talent bud before their eyes. Whether Flores is dealt or if he’s progressed further through the Mets system, let’s hope they get the most out of him so we’re not all reminded of names like Paul Wilson and Jason Middlebrook again.