During the first month of the 2011 season, Charleston's hitting coach Greg Colbrunn expressed his confidence in Flores. Colbrunn said that he saw a stronger, fresher and older player with a great plate discipline and Flores has tried not to disappoint.
"Flores is probably one of the most consistent hitters," explained Colbrunn of Flores's performance this year. "He's had stretches where he's struggled, but for the most part he's been the same guy every day. He's got a real good idea of the strike zone especially with him being 19 years old. He's a real good young hitter."
Flores, a native of Barinas, Venezuela, kicked off this season with a roaring April as he racked up two home runs, ten RBI and a .311 batting average. Although he saw a slight decline in his numbers mid-season, July appeared to be his best month yet. He hit three home runs, 17 RBI and had a .314 batting average for the month.
"I feel like I've played well so far," said Flores through a translator. "I know that I go up and down, but when I'm down I can do what I need to make that adjustment to play better."
Flores focused on hitting the opposite side of the field more this year. He said that it was important for him to try to swing at the good pitches and keep a positive mentality, especially when he was trying to break out of a slump.
On July 20, in a game against the Lexington Legends, Flores used his strategy to try to hit to the opposite side of the field as he smacked a base clearing triple to the centerfield wall. The hit was huge for Flores as it put the RiverDogs up 4-3 and ultimately helped lead the team to a win.
"That was a big hit for us," stated Colbrunn. "It put us right back in the game, and hopefully Flores can have more days like that. He's probably got the best swing out of all the players we have here and he's one of the better hitting prospects in the game."
With his hitting on track, Flores has also had time to work on his defense. Originally intended to be a left fielder in the Yankees organization, he actually spent the majority of his time with the RiverDogs playing first base. He recently transitioned back to playing the outfield.
"I've only made one error in the outfield," mentioned Flores of his defense. "It was a mental error, but I'm feeling pretty good in the field."
Everything seemed to be going well for the young player this season. The coaches as well as Flores have seen the improvements as he matures not only in age, but in the minor leagues.
"He's got more power this year," praised Colbrunn of Flores's hitting. "His slugging percentage is a lot higher than it's been in the past and he's gotten more home runs. He's just figuring out how to hit for more power."
The slugging percentage that Colbrunn referred to is up to .423 for the current season. Flores's batting average for the 2011 year with the RiverDogs is a total .269 so far and he has managed to hit eleven homeruns and 52 RBI, with over a month of regular season left to play. And if his July statistics are any indication, Flores could end this season on quite a high note.
"I just want him to finish up strong and keep doing what he's been doing," remarked Colbrunn of his goals for Flores. "Hopefully he'll put together a good month of August and we can let him go."
Flores Keeps Getting Better
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