1) Last week, a source said the Mets were not optimistic that 22-year-old infielder Wilmer Flores could become an everyday shortstop in the big leagues (NY Post, Apr. 30).
Nevertheless, Flores is expected to be the starting shortstop for the Mets on Friday, after being recalled from Triple-A later today…
2) This past off-season, MLB.com ranked Flores the organization’s second-best position player prospect behind Travis d’Arnaud.
“His overall approach at the plate improved, and that helped him tap into his raw power more consistently,” the report said (MLB.com, Nov. 2013). “He has good hands and a strong arm, but the lack of range might continue to be an issue.”
3) In spring training, Mets manager Terry Collins said Flores has the potential to hit like Edgardo Alfonzo, so long as he can settle in to a position on the infield.
4) Flores leaves behind seven errors and a .941 fielding percentage in 24 games at shortstop with Triple-A Vegas. He is widely considered to be inferior in the field to Ruben Tejada and Omar Quintanilla. That said, it has been 23 innings since the Mets last scored a run and Tejada and Quintanilla have combined to hit .190 in their last 100 or so at bats. Flores is hitting .295 with a .353 OBP in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
“All the reports we’re getting from there is he’s making all the routine plays,” assistant GM John Ricco recently said (Newsday, May 8). “He’s not going to be a plus defender by any stretch, but he’s held his own defensively.”
5) Free-agent SS Stephen Drew has let it be known he does not intend to sign a new contract until after the MLB Draft in June, when he will no longer require his new team to part with draft pick compensation.
6) According to multiple reports, while the Mets had talked with the D-Backs and Mariners about possibly trading for a shortstop, Arizona and Seattle have repeatedly asked for a combination of Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Kevin Plawecki, who the Mets are not yet interested in trading.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In the end, I get the feeling Flores will get most starts, while Tejada may come in late in games – with a lead – to be a more stable, experienced infielder. At the very least, the Mets will get a better hitter, move Tejada to the bench, and get a better feel for what this dynamic can be. This way, when it comes time to again talk with Drew, and re-open talks with Arizona, Seattle and others, Sandy Alderson can have a better sense of what he’s working with and know how dire his shortstop situation actually is.