Gabe, a reader of MetsBlog:
I haven’t heard much talk about Wilmer Flores this offseason. I keep hearing about Lucas Duda, but why wouldn’t Flores be able to challenge him at first if Ike Davis is moved? In my opinion, Flores is as pure of a hitter as the Mets have coming up right now. Why not leave first base an open competition?
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Flores is known for his bat. His fielding is what holds him down. The problem with trading him is that most teams already have an all-hit, no-field prospect or two in the upper-levels of their system, if not at the big-league level. It’s a common problem, much worse for teams in the National League.
Naturally, he’s hitting well this winter in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he’s also made a few errors in just a handful of games at second and third base. I’ve seen reports indicating he’s working on his agility and foot speed. I’ll believe he’s improved when I see him. He’s a big, blocky athlete who — at just 22 — is probably going to get bigger and stronger as he grows up. The Mets are not moving David Wright to first base to hope Flores succeeds in the big-leagues at third. The point is, Wilmer’s future is either at first base for the Mets or on another team’s roster.
He’s a young man without a position and not a lot of trade value. So, I assume Wilmer will work out at first base next Spring, as well as continue to try and prove himself at second (especially if Daniel Murphy is traded, or moved to first base, which I don’t think will happen). He’ll probably take grounders at third, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him workout in the outfield once in a while. Maybe he sticks to the 25-man roster in a utility role… maybe he starts in Triple-A, be it at first, second or third, where maybe he can rebuild his value at a premium position… or, maybe his footwork has improved, he hits and wins the first base job away from Duda… I don’t know. It remains to be seen, which is the only way to answer you question right now.