Mets Prospect Watch: Wilmer Flores

Ruben Tejeda has done little to earn the confidence of New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and with Wilmer Flores improving steadily during spring training, could the 23-year-old be making a hard charge to become the full-time shortstop?

The outlook for the 2015 Mets is filled with optimism. A stacked, young pitching staff with the return of ace Matt Harvey should allow the Mets to compete in the NL East and contend for a wildcard berth. Additions such as Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry Jr. should provide an extra boost to an offense which struggled to achieve consistent results.

Although a question looming large this season will be the tandem up the middle. With Daniel Murphy seemingly locked in at second base, and Ruben Tejada the leading candidate at shortstop, it leaves Wilmer Flores as a player with an undefined role.

However, since his call up last season from Triple A Last Vegas, he has shown promise both with his glove and his bat.

While he’s not known for having outstanding fielding range, Flores consistently made plays which surprised scouts, given his considered range at shortstop. Moreover, his prowess with the bat did not go unnoticed, as endured the typical rookie struggles, Flores demonstrated resilience and a smooth, compact swing. During his time in triple A, he hovered around a 300 batting average, with some power and a solid on-base percentage. Naturally, these numbers would decline given the nature of the competition he faced at the major league level, however, he certainly is a player to watch this season.

Ruben Tejada, while he may be the frontrunner because of his defensive ability, and offensive potential, Tejada does have a propensity for major slumps and defensive lapses.

Therefore, he is no sure thing to remain the everyday shortstop for the Mets this season, and may leave the door open for Flores. If Flores can continue to show improvement, and Tejada struggles, don’t be surprised if Flores role on the team transforms from undefined, to a key cog in the Mets infield, and their future plans.

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