NY Mets phenom/prospect, Wilmer Flores is progressing quickly. Flores, the 17 year old SS from Venezuela, has turned heads this spring. Flores, who was with the Mets for a short bit this spring while 16 Mets were participating in the WBC, had two hits in nine at-bats, along with a run scoring double.
Scouts have questioned his defense at SS because he doesn't have much range, but does have a strong arm. The Mets will not switch his position until he gets closer to the Major League level. Scouts predict he will ultimately wind up being a corner outfielder.
Last year Flores clobbered Rookie Level Appalachian League pitching. Mets VP of Player Development, Tony Bernazard, was moved, “Think about it, realistically now, he would be a junior in high school. Instead, he’s playing in major league exhibition games. It’s unbelievable.”
When asked about his chances, Flores commented through an interpreter, “I realize that they set a precedent. I understand that the organization is going to give me every single opportunity to do what they did. I’m just going to work hard, and when the organization decides I’m going to go to the big leagues, I’ll go to the big leagues.”
Flores, who stands 6' 3” and is 193 lbs, is expected to add at least another 15 pounds as he matures. This would make him a bit large to play SS at the professional level. This is another reason scouts believe he will be a corner OF in the pros.
Exclaimed an unidentified scout, “More than anything, I see him as a power bat guy. Did I think he was the best guy that year? No. Am I surprised he’s a good hitter? Not one bit. Wilmer’s got good bat speed, a good body and made contact consistently. That’s a pretty good combination.”
Concluding, Flores said, “I was always a good hitter. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t field much, but I could always hit. It was just natural.”
Source: Ben Shpigel - NY Times