Flores Getting More Comfortable

It was quite the struggle for Ramon Flores last year, hitting just .196 for the Gulf Coast League Yankees in his professional debut season. It was also his first year in the United States. Now he has had some time to adjust, so much so that not only has he been doing well in his second Gulf Coast League stint, he was even called upon to help out with the Tampa Yankees for a while.

It was a quick eight games with the Tampa Yankees, but left fielder Ramon Flores caught a glimpse of what likely awaits him in the near future. Flores, who was sent back down to the Gulf Coast League on July 14, has only been in the United States for two years.

"It's been great since I got here," Flores said. "My first year here was tough, because I didn't speak English. It was really hard to communicate with the coaches. But after two years of learning some of the language, everything's been a lot better."

Things have certainly started to look better for Flores in the past year. He had an outstanding spring and extended spring training, which may have pushed the Yankees to bring him up so soon.

"During spring training, I worked with the same coaches [from the Tampa Yankees] and that helped me out a lot," he said.

When he moved up to the Florida State League, he said he didn't have to change much, or make any adjustments because he was familiar with the coaches and what they were looking for.

"Being aggressive at the plate helped me a lot," he said. "Also, just playing the game and gaining experience."

Getting used to the pitching at a higher level was another aspect of the game that he had to get used to. He struck out five times in 28 at-bats with no walks in Tampa, while he has only struck out seven times and drawn seven walks through 58 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League.

"Most of the adjustments were basically just about how to face the opposing pitching. [In Florida State League] they throw more strikes and they know the game better than pitchers in the Gulf Coast League," he said. "That's the main adjustment I've made. I'm just trying to get more pitches and stay aggressive."

Born and raised in Venezuela, the 18-year-old admits he has suffered a little bit of culture shock since arriving in the U.S. He's still adjusting.

"The cultural differences between Venezuela and here is what's been the toughest," he said. "The cultures are very different. It's been a learning experience and I want to learn English because it's important for my career."

It seems that the Yankees would like to see him grow more as a player and get more games under his belt. "When the season started, I didn't think I would make it [there], Flores said. "I was really surprised."

In his short time with the Tampa Yankees, Flores batted .250 with two RBI and an on-base percentage of only .250. Still, he has shown progress in the GCL, where he's batting .345 with eight RBI and an OBP of .424. Not bad for an 18-year-old who's still learning the game.

As Flores continues to get used to life in the United States, his game should continue to elevate. Though he was recently demoted back to the GCL, Flores has shown that he can compete at a high level at a young age and the Yankees organization has to be happy with the progress he's made in such a short time.

"I want to continue to get better so I can stay at [that] level," Flores said. "Then, next year, hopefully I can continue to move up and really grow as a player."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nIt was a quick eight games with the Tampa Yankees, but left fielder Ramon Flores caught a glimpse of what likely awaits him in the near future. Flores, who was sent back down to the Gulf Coast League on July 14, has only been in the United States for two years.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been great since I got here,\" Flores said. \"My first year here was tough, because I didn't speak English. It was really hard to communicate with the coaches. But after two years of learning some of the language, everything's been a lot better.\"
\r\n
\r\nThings have certainly started to look better for Flores in the past year. He had an outstanding spring and extended spring training, which may have pushed the Yankees to bring him up so soon.
\r\n
\r\n\"During spring training, I worked with the same coaches [from the Tampa Yankees] and that helped me out a lot,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nWhen he moved up to the Florida State League, he said he didn't have to change much, or make any adjustments because he was familiar with the coaches and what they were looking for.
\r\n
\r\n\"Being aggressive at the plate helped me a lot,\" he said. \"Also, just playing the game and gaining experience.\"
\r\n
\r\nGetting used to the pitching at a higher level was another aspect of the game that he had to get used to. He struck out five times in 28 at-bats with no walks in Tampa, while he has only struck out seven times and drawn seven walks through 58 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League.
\r\n
\r\n\"Most of the adjustments were basically just about how to face the opposing pitching. [In Florida State League] they throw more strikes and they know the game better than pitchers in the Gulf Coast League,\" he said. \"That's the main adjustment I've made. I'm just trying to get more pitches and stay aggressive.\"
\r\n
\r\nBorn and raised in Venezuela, the 18-year-old admits he has suffered a little bit of culture shock since arriving in the U.S. He's still adjusting.
\r\n
\r\n\"The cultural differences between Venezuela and here is what's been the toughest,\" he said. \"The cultures are very different. It's been a learning experience and I want to learn English because it's important for my career.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt seems that the Yankees would like to see him grow more as a player and get more games under his belt. \"When the season started, I didn't think I would make it [there], Flores said. \"I was really surprised.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn his short time with the Tampa Yankees, Flores batted .250 with two RBI and an on-base percentage of only .250. Still, he has shown progress in the GCL, where he's batting .345 with eight RBI and an OBP of .424. Not bad for an 18-year-old who's still learning the game.
\r\n
\r\nAs Flores continues to get used to life in the United States, his game should continue to elevate. Though he was recently demoted back to the GCL, Flores has shown that he can compete at a high level at a young age and the Yankees organization has to be happy with the progress he's made in such a short time.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to continue to get better so I can stay at [that] level,\" Flores said. \"Then, next year, hopefully I can continue to move up and really grow as a player.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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