Scouting Report: C Jesus Flores

Lost to the Nationals on Thursday in the Rule V Draft, the Mets signed Jesus Flores as an international free agent out of Venezuela back in March of 2002. Widely considered the best all-around catching prospect in the Mets' farm system, he had a breakout year with the St. Lucie Mets and tied for the league lead in home runs.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jesus Flores
Position: Catcher
DOB: November 26, 1984
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Flores entered the 2006 season with a world of talent but had not yet proven it on the field. He hit just a meager .216 with seven home runs in the South Atlantic League in 2005, but a broken hand in the final game of Spring Training prior to the start of that season hindered his abilities and shattered his confidence.

"I felt really good going into big league camp last year," Jesus Flores told InsidePitchMagazine.com through the help of a translator, "but when I got that injury, I felt I had such a setback. I wasn't where I wanted to be. What I've been able to do this year is what I wanted for last season. All I can do is build on what I've done now and look forward to the future."

Normally a very confident player, Flores put his disastrous 2005 campaign behind him and flourished under Gary Carter this past season, his manager in St. Lucie.

"Gary's trying to instill in me to be a leader on the field," the 22-year old catcher told us at the end of the 2006 season, "just to be an overall strong leader. He's making me a strong-willed person and to be an intelligent catcher."

"He's taught me to work my very best with the pitchers, to learn the pitchers - their strengths as well as their weaknesses - so I can call a better game. Overall he's just taught me to be more intelligent and be a leader in the clubhouse as well as out on the field."

Making tremendous strides in his mental game and defensive prowess, especially on his throws to second base, it was Flores' bat that drew the attention of scouts. He finally started putting up the production many had been predicting for the past two years.

"If you look at most of my hits, they've all been either doubles or home runs," Flores said of his .476 slugging percentage in the notoriously pitching-friendly Florida State League. "If you'd like to categorize me as a power hitter, then that's what I see myself as. I'm here to drive in runs. Power is a big part of my game now and that's something I need to work on even more."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2006

St. Lucie

.266

429

114

21

70

66

2

28

127

.335

.487

2005

Hagerstown

.216

319

69

7

42

34

2

12

90

.250

.339

2004

Brooklyn

.333

6

2

1

3

1

0

0

1

.333

.833

2004

GCL

.319

141

45

4

25

16

1

8

26

.368

.532



Batting and Power. Flores is a decent contact hitter who doesn't exactly employ a patient approach at the plate. He's very adept at pulling inside pitches with power and while he does have very good opposite field power, hitting to that part of the field is not his biggest strength. Now headed to the big leagues with the Nationals, it is an area in his offensive game that will most likely get exposed. When he's on though, he's an extremely powerful hitter capable of putting up some big home run totals, even in a big park like RFK Stadium.

Base Running and Speed. Flores has some athletic ability for a thick catcher. He is aggressive on the base paths and will take the extra base when it's there. He won't be a huge factor on the bases but he is an above average runner for a catcher.

Defense. Physically, Flores was already a very good defensive player with a strong arm and a quick release. Sometimes he gets a little too full of himself and tries to showcase his arm on pick-off plays and that gets him in trouble. However, playing under Gary Carter this past season, Flores excelled defensively and he picked up a lot of the little things from his manager. He made marked improvements working with pitchers and in in-game situations. He's an above average defensive player with some room to grow.

Projection. Flores is a complete catching prospect. He can hit for average, hit for good power, and plays the catcher's position defensively as well as most, but the problem now is he'll need to do that at the big league level. He projects to be a Ramon Hernandez type of catcher someday, the question now however is, can he do it next year with the Washington Nationals?

He's got some serious upside to him and he's definitely an interesting risk for the Nationals. Flores is cocky enough to possibly stick in the big leagues. In some ways, he compares to the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez [mentally] in that he might flourish in the Majors because of the mere challenge. Ramirez seemed uninterested in the minor leagues and didn't give it his all until the big leagues and it's not out of the question that the same thing could happen for Flores. Flores certainly has big league talent.

ETA. 2007. We've been predicting a 2009 arrival for Jesus Flores for the last two years and his selection by the Nationals in the Rule V Draft obviously changes his ETA. The jump from high-A to Double-A is huge, let alone a leap from the Florida State League to the big leagues. The chances are better than average he won't be ready for the big leagues in 2007 and the Mets could see him back in the organization sometime next season.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Jesus Flores
\r\nPosition: Catcher
\r\nDOB: November 26, 1984
\r\nHeight: 6'1\"
\r\nWeight: 185
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\nFlores entered the 2006 season with a world of talent but had not yet proven it on the field. He hit just a meager .216 with seven home runs in the South Atlantic League in 2005, but a broken hand in the final game of Spring Training prior to the start of that season hindered his abilities and shattered his confidence.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt really good going into big league camp last year,\" Jesus Flores told InsidePitchMagazine.com through the help of a translator, \"but when I got that injury, I felt I had such a setback. I wasn't where I wanted to be. What I've been able to do this year is what I wanted for last season. All I can do is build on what I've done now and look forward to the future.\"
\r\n
\r\nNormally a very confident player, Flores put his disastrous 2005 campaign behind him and flourished under Gary Carter this past season, his manager in St. Lucie.
\r\n
\r\n\"Gary's trying to instill in me to be a leader on the field,\" the 22-year old catcher told us at the end of the 2006 season, \"just to be an overall strong leader. He's making me a strong-willed person and to be an intelligent catcher.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"He's taught me to work my very best with the pitchers, to learn the pitchers - their strengths as well as their weaknesses - so I can call a better game. Overall he's just taught me to be more intelligent and be a leader in the clubhouse as well as out on the field.\"
\r\n
\r\nMaking tremendous strides in his mental game and defensive prowess, especially on his throws to second base, it was Flores' bat that drew the attention of scouts. He finally started putting up the production many had been predicting for the past two years.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you look at most of my hits, they've all been either doubles or home runs,\" Flores said of his .476 slugging percentage in the notoriously pitching-friendly Florida State League. \"If you'd like to categorize me as a power hitter, then that's what I see myself as. I'm here to drive in runs. Power is a big part of my game now and that's something I need to work on even more.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n AVG.

\r\n

\r\n AB

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n HR

\r\n

\r\n RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

\r\n SB

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n OBP

\r\n

\r\n SLG

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n .266

\r\n

\r\n 429

\r\n

\r\n 114

\r\n

\r\n 21

\r\n

\r\n 70

\r\n

\r\n 66

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 28

\r\n

\r\n 127

\r\n

\r\n .335

\r\n

\r\n .487

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n .216

\r\n

\r\n 319

\r\n

\r\n 69

\r\n

\r\n 7

\r\n

\r\n 42

\r\n

\r\n 34

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 90

\r\n

\r\n .250

\r\n

\r\n .339

\r\n

\r\n 2004

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n .333

\r\n

\r\n 6

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n .333

\r\n

\r\n .833

\r\n

\r\n 2004

\r\n

\r\n GCL

\r\n

\r\n .319

\r\n

\r\n 141

\r\n

\r\n 45

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 25

\r\n

\r\n 16

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 8

\r\n

\r\n 26

\r\n

\r\n .368

\r\n

\r\n .532


\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Flores is a decent contact hitter who doesn't exactly employ a patient approach at the plate. He's very adept at pulling inside pitches with power and while he does have very good opposite field power, hitting to that part of the field is not his biggest strength. Now headed to the big leagues with the Nationals, it is an area in his offensive game that will most likely get exposed. When he's on though, he's an extremely powerful hitter capable of putting up some big home run totals, even in a big park like RFK Stadium.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Flores has some athletic ability for a thick catcher. He is aggressive on the base paths and will take the extra base when it's there. He won't be a huge factor on the bases but he is an above average runner for a catcher.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Physically, Flores was already a very good defensive player with a strong arm and a quick release. Sometimes he gets a little too full of himself and tries to showcase his arm on pick-off plays and that gets him in trouble. However, playing under Gary Carter this past season, Flores excelled defensively and he picked up a lot of the little things from his manager. He made marked improvements working with pitchers and in in-game situations. He's an above average defensive player with some room to grow.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Flores is a complete catching prospect. He can hit for average, hit for good power, and plays the catcher's position defensively as well as most, but the problem now is he'll need to do that at the big league level. He projects to be a Ramon Hernandez type of catcher someday, the question now however is, can he do it next year with the Washington Nationals?
\r\n
\r\nHe's got some serious upside to him and he's definitely an interesting risk for the Nationals. Flores is cocky enough to possibly stick in the big leagues. In some ways, he compares to the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez [mentally] in that he might flourish in the Majors because of the mere challenge. Ramirez seemed uninterested in the minor leagues and didn't give it his all until the big leagues and it's not out of the question that the same thing could happen for Flores. Flores certainly has big league talent.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2007. We've been predicting a 2009 arrival for Jesus Flores for the last two years and his selection by the Nationals in the Rule V Draft obviously changes his ETA. The jump from high-A to Double-A is huge, let alone a leap from the Florida State League to the big leagues. The chances are better than average he won't be ready for the big leagues in 2007 and the Mets could see him back in the organization sometime next season.
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