Scouting Mets Prospect #5: Wilmer Flores

The New York Mets signed the Venezuelan native in the summer of 2007, making him the prize of that year's international free agent class. This year, Wilmer Flores was one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League and put together a season that while statistically unassuming, has many confident about the way his tools are developing. Check out his scouting report to learn more.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Wilmer Flores
DOB: August 6, 1991
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Status: Free Agent Signing (August 6, 2007)

From the day the Mets signed shortstop Wilmer Flores, they knew they had a high-ceiling talent that was capable of being moved aggressively through the system. Flores, 18, spent the season as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League. On paper, his numbers were unspectacular. He hit .264 with three home runs and 36 RBI in 125 games, but at this stage in his career, the focus is still heavy on development and teaching the shortstop the tools of the trade.

He had his lulls, including a slow May and a stretch at the end of the season when he physically tired, but in all it was a performance his Sand Gnats coaches found to be positive.

"Overall, I think it was a productive year for Wilmer," said Savannah hitting coach Ryan Ellis who has worked with Flores over the past two seasons. "I think it was a learning experience that was good for him in that he had a little bit of failure, overcame it, and made the adjustments that he had to."

"Every ballplayer goes through a little pain from year to year as far as failure is concerned. I think in his first full season, he made the adjustments that he needed to."

Like his debut season with Kingsport in 2008, Flores spent the year incrementally building his tools specifically with the bat. Flores has the tools to become a special run producer for the Mets which is why, given the shortstop's youth, Ellis focused on the basics and his overall approach.

"He just needs to maintain consistency with what he does and know what he does well. He's done a good job of that in the two years that I've worked with him," Ellis explained. "Again, I think much of the focus is on him mentally and if he does keep a strong head and makes his adjustments than I believe his mechanics will take over."

He showed the ability to put those adjustments into practice when he hit .291 during June and July. He hit two home runs and drove in 16 RBI during that stretch. The numbers were not stellar, but it was a period in which Flores found his foundation and rhythm at the plate.

"I think that's when Wilmer really put things together," said Ellis. "Wilmer's a guy that sees the ball real well, has really good plate coverage, but the thing with him is that when he gets too anxious he gets himself out. "

"With Wilmer, we first just want to make sure he becomes a good hitter," Ellis continued. "I think he finished off with a productive first full season. He needs to continue to be a good hitter and as he grows into his body, and matures, than the power numbers will show up."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2009

Savannah

.264

488

129

3

36

44

3

22

72

.305

.332

2008

Brooklyn

.267

30

8

0

1

3

0

1

7

.290

.300

2008

Savannah

.400

5

2

0

0

1

0

0

2

.400

.400

2008

Kingsport

.310

245

76

8

41

36

2

12

28

.352

.490



Batting and Power: Statistics do not tell the story about the quality hitter Flores projects to be. Flores has excellent bat control and a fluid swing that provides him with power from line to line. He also has the strength in his hands and wrists, to keep his bat back and drive secondary pitches with authority. That trait is magnified by advanced pitch recognition for his age which allows him to fight off pitches and still put them in play.

His weight transfer and solid base keeps him from getting to out in front of with his swing. He produced excellent lift and carry on the ball which speak to budding power that will make him a legitimate home run threat in years to come. However, his mechanics were prone to breakdowns at times through the season. Minimal load and a habit of his front elbow flying open created dragging swings that opened up holes in and created many harmless flyballs.

Yet plate discipline remains a significant area in need of work for Flores. At times this season, he was too anxious and tried too hard at the plate which caused a breakdown in his swing, but it is a correctable flaw. Until it is corrected, his power will remain in check without more onsistent discipline and a steadier swing plane.

Base Running and Speed: Speed is not a tool for Flores. He possesses well below-average foot speed and a max effort running form. He may swipe his very small share of bases, but speed is his most deficient tool. He is a steady base runner who understands he does not have the speed to take chances.

Defense: Flores is a solid defender, but does not have the speed or quickness to make any more plays than what is hit in his immediate area. Flores showed off good enough arm strength for the position and solid accuracy throwing, with improved mechanics. He has very limited range which prevents him from making plays beyond a close radius. He did a better job of playing the ball when in previous seasons he would stab at the ball with awkward receiving. The package of tools should hold him over as he works up the system but long term Flores is not likely to stick at the position.

Projection: Flores has the potential to be a long term producer for the Mets at the highest level. His future, however, will be heavily determined by his bat. His tools and understanding of hitting are well beyond his peers and will make him at impact hitter. The promotions will continue for Flores as the Mets will continue to move him up the ladder. There is still plenty of size and strength to add to Flores' wiry frame. When that comes on, the home run power will come to fruition and will ultimately move him off shortstop. His stationary presence in the field could land him on first base, but he has the arm strength that could place him in a corner outfield position. Such a move is not yet on the horizon as the Mets will stick with him at shortstop, both increasing his overall value as a prospect and enhancing his maturity on the field.

ETA: 2013. We remain conservative with Flores and push his arrival back by one season from last year's scouting report. Flores will be off to St. Lucie next season, but there is little reason to move him aggressively in-season unless his bat really takes off. Thus, the prediction stands at one level person season until the start of 2013. However, a debut late in the 2012 season cannot be ruled out.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nTo discuss all of the scouting reports, head to the Subscribers Forum
\r\n
\r\nVital Statistics
\r\nName: Wilmer Flores
\r\nDOB: August 6, 1991
\r\nHeight: 6'3\"
\r\nWeight: 175
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nStatus: Free Agent Signing (August 6, 2007)
\r\n
\r\nFrom the day the Mets signed shortstop Wilmer Flores, they knew they had a high-ceiling talent that was capable of being moved aggressively through the system. Flores, 18, spent the season as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League. On paper, his numbers were unspectacular. He hit .264 with three home runs and 36 RBI in 125 games, but at this stage in his career, the focus is still heavy on development and teaching the shortstop the tools of the trade.
\r\n
\r\nHe had his lulls, including a slow May and a stretch at the end of the season when he physically tired, but in all it was a performance his Sand Gnats coaches found to be positive.
\r\n
\r\n\"Overall, I think it was a productive year for Wilmer,\" said Savannah hitting coach Ryan Ellis who has worked with Flores over the past two seasons. \"I think it was a learning experience that was good for him in that he had a little bit of failure, overcame it, and made the adjustments that he had to.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Every ballplayer goes through a little pain from year to year as far as failure is concerned. I think in his first full season, he made the adjustments that he needed to.\"
\r\n
\r\nLike his debut season with Kingsport in 2008, Flores spent the year incrementally building his tools specifically with the bat. Flores has the tools to become a special run producer for the Mets which is why, given the shortstop's youth, Ellis focused on the basics and his overall approach.
\r\n
\r\n\"He just needs to maintain consistency with what he does and know what he does well. He's done a good job of that in the two years that I've worked with him,\" Ellis explained. \"Again, I think much of the focus is on him mentally and if he does keep a strong head and makes his adjustments than I believe his mechanics will take over.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe showed the ability to put those adjustments into practice when he hit .291 during June and July. He hit two home runs and drove in 16 RBI during that stretch. The numbers were not stellar, but it was a period in which Flores found his foundation and rhythm at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think that's when Wilmer really put things together,\" said Ellis. \"Wilmer's a guy that sees the ball real well, has really good plate coverage, but the thing with him is that when he gets too anxious he gets himself out. \"
\r\n
\r\n\"With Wilmer, we first just want to make sure he becomes a good hitter,\" Ellis continued. \"I think he finished off with a productive first full season. He needs to continue to be a good hitter and as he grows into his body, and matures, than the power numbers will show up.\"
\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 2009

\r\n

\r\n Savannah

\r\n

\r\n .264

\r\n

\r\n 488

\r\n

\r\n 129

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 36

\r\n

\r\n 44

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 22

\r\n

\r\n 72

\r\n

\r\n .305

\r\n

\r\n .332

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n .267

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 8

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 7

\r\n

\r\n .290

\r\n

\r\n .300

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n Savannah

\r\n

\r\n .400

\r\n

\r\n 5

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n .400

\r\n

\r\n .400

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n Kingsport

\r\n

\r\n .310

\r\n

\r\n 245

\r\n

\r\n 76

\r\n

\r\n 8

\r\n

\r\n 41

\r\n

\r\n 36

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 28

\r\n

\r\n .352

\r\n

\r\n .490


\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power: Statistics do not tell the story about the quality hitter Flores projects to be. Flores has excellent bat control and a fluid swing that provides him with power from line to line. He also has the strength in his hands and wrists, to keep his bat back and drive secondary pitches with authority. That trait is magnified by advanced pitch recognition for his age which allows him to fight off pitches and still put them in play.
\r\n
\r\nHis weight transfer and solid base keeps him from getting to out in front of with his swing. He produced excellent lift and carry on the ball which speak to budding power that will make him a legitimate home run threat in years to come. However, his mechanics were prone to breakdowns at times through the season. Minimal load and a habit of his front elbow flying open created dragging swings that opened up holes in and created many harmless flyballs.
\r\n
\r\nYet plate discipline remains a significant area in need of work for Flores. At times this season, he was too anxious and tried too hard at the plate which caused a breakdown in his swing, but it is a correctable flaw. Until it is corrected, his power will remain in check without more onsistent discipline and a steadier swing plane.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed: Speed is not a tool for Flores. He possesses well below-average foot speed and a max effort running form. He may swipe his very small share of bases, but speed is his most deficient tool. He is a steady base runner who understands he does not have the speed to take chances.
\r\n
\r\nDefense: Flores is a solid defender, but does not have the speed or quickness to make any more plays than what is hit in his immediate area. Flores showed off good enough arm strength for the position and solid accuracy throwing, with improved mechanics. He has very limited range which prevents him from making plays beyond a close radius. He did a better job of playing the ball when in previous seasons he would stab at the ball with awkward receiving. The package of tools should hold him over as he works up the system but long term Flores is not likely to stick at the position.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Flores has the potential to be a long term producer for the Mets at the highest level. His future, however, will be heavily determined by his bat. His tools and understanding of hitting are well beyond his peers and will make him at impact hitter. The promotions will continue for Flores as the Mets will continue to move him up the ladder. There is still plenty of size and strength to add to Flores' wiry frame. When that comes on, the home run power will come to fruition and will ultimately move him off shortstop. His stationary presence in the field could land him on first base, but he has the arm strength that could place him in a corner outfield position. Such a move is not yet on the horizon as the Mets will stick with him at shortstop, both increasing his overall value as a prospect and enhancing his maturity on the field.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2013. We remain conservative with Flores and push his arrival back by one season from last year's scouting report. Flores will be off to St. Lucie next season, but there is little reason to move him aggressively in-season unless his bat really takes off. Thus, the prediction stands at one level person season until the start of 2013. However, a debut late in the 2012 season cannot be ruled out.
\r\n
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