Mayo: Wilmer Flores is the ninth best third base prospect in MLB

Wilmer Flores 3 polaroidJonathan Mayo of MLB.com has ranked Wilmer Flores as the ninth best third base prospect in the game for 2013.

In regards to Flores, Mayo writes:

“Flores had trouble getting out of A-ball but took a big step forward in 2012. … He earned a promotion to Double-A and hit well there, starting to show power and plate discipline and turning potential into performance. A shortstop for much of his career, he shifted to third in 2012, though he dabbled a bit at second base as well. His feel for hitting should help him get to the big leagues. Where his long-term defensive home is remains to be seen.”

The Mets have said Flores will continue to play both second and third base this season.

In 130 games for Single-A and Double-A last year, Flores hit .300 with 18 home runs, 75 RBI, 38 walks and 60 strikeouts in 493 at-bats, during which he won the Sterling Organizational Player of the Year Award.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Obviously, third base won’t work out for Flores in the Mets’ organization. He’s also blocked at first base for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean he can’t establish himself at second base this season, and he is going to get opportunities at that position.

I asked Mayo a follow-up question about Flores’ abilities to transition to second base, to which he responded:

“I think there are mixed feelings about Flores and his ability to play second. And that’s the issue with him, isn’t it? He’d be better at a corner, but may not have the power profile to stay there. And he may not have the quickness/agility needed to play second base. … That being said, I could see him being an acceptable offensive-minded second baseman in time. Just don’t expect Gold Gloves.”

Flores has told me before he is willing to transition to any position the Mets ask him to play, and so the fact he’s flexible is encouraging. For now, it’s important for Flores to play where he’s comfortable so his offense isn’t stymied. He had a great season last year with St. Lucie and Binghamton, and I expect he will head to Las Vegas to open this season, where he has the opportunity to mash and make his power standout in the thin air.


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