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Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Top New York Mets Prospects #5-Wilmer Flores

February 12th, 2014 at 6:35 PM
By Mike Phillips

Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns in time for 2014. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown from number seven and work our way to number one over the course of a week. This week marks our final countdown of the offseason as the Mets begin spring training on Saturday, and we will continue our annual tradition by ranking the top seven Mets' prospects in the farm system. We continue our countdown today with a look at the fifth best prospect in the Mets' farm system, infielder Wilmer Flores.

5) IF Wilmer Flores

'Wilmer Flores' photo (c) 2013, slgckgc - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2007

History: Wilmer Flores was signed by the Mets as a 16 year old prospect in 2007 and spent the next six years of his career working his way up through the Mets farm system. The book on Flores had been established pretty early, and it has followed him throughout his career. While Flores has tremendous potential with the bat, he has struggled to find a defensive position with the Mets. Flores initially signed as a shortstop prospect, but he was moved to third base due to concerns over his range. After David Wright signed a long term extension following the 2012 season, the Mets again moved Flores to second base.

Flores spent most of his 2013 season playing second base for Triple-A Las Vegas before finally getting a promotion to the major leagues in August. Flores was given a chance to play his natural position of third base after Wright suffered a hamstring injury, and he came out of the gate red hot. An ankle injury in Los Angeles, however, slowed Flores' production to a crawl. Flores remained with the team for the rest of the year, but his at bats dwindled as his struggles continued. The Mets even gave Flores an audition at second base for a game, but he struggled so mightily that it was abandoned for the rest of the year.

Pros: Great Bat, Power Potential

Cons: Needs a Defensive Position

2014 Outlook: 2014 will be an interesting year for Flores, particularly where the Mets try to deploy him. With the Mets acknowledging they could use Daniel Murphy at first base if neither Ike Davis or Lucas Duda steps up in spring training, Flores could have a chance to win the second base job outright. Flores also could be factored into the first base mix himself, as the Mets gave him a few games there at Triple-A last season to try and find him a home. The Mets also said Flores would get a shot at some playing time at shortstop, although that could be mitigated if the Mets do end up signing Stephen Drew at some point. 

The key for Flores this season is to try and find a home defensively and work on improving there. Being switched from position to position clearly impacted Flores in 2013, and he carried his struggles in the field with him to the batter's box. The Mets need to figure out early in spring training where they want to play Flores and commit to leaving him there. The odds are high that Flores will spend some time with Triple-A Las Vegas this season, but how much will depend on what kind of effort he shows in spring training.

Just because the Super Bowl left NY/NJ it doesn't mean the NFL action is over. Come see the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Liberty Science Center see jerseys worn by legends, make the tough call under the hood, try on equipment and get immersed into football like never before.

Just because the Super Bowl left NY/NJ it doesn't mean the NFL action is over. Come see the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Liberty Science Center see jerseys worn by legends, make the tough call under the hood, try on equipment and get immersed into football like never before.

Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Seven in Seven, Wilmer Flores

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