The Mets have considered using 22-year-old IF prospect Wilmer Flores as an outfielder, according to Andrew Keh of the New York Times.
However, the team has no plans to act on it anytime soon.
“Our focus is developing him as a hitter, and that’s not something we want to interfere with,” Sandy Alderson told Keh.
Flores could get time in the outfield this spring training, but he will only play second base and third base in the minor leagues during 2013, Alderson said during an online chat with MLB.com in January
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked Flores as the ninth best third base prospect in the game for 2013.
“His feel for hitting should help him get to the big leagues,” Mayo said. “Where his long-term defensive home is remains to be seen.”
In 130 games for Single-A and Double-A last year, Flores hit .300 with 18 HR, 75 RBI, 38 walks and 60 strikeouts in 493 at-bats, during which he won the Sterling Organizational Player of the Year Award.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
I still bet Flores is eventually traded, maybe with another top pitcher on the rise, in a deal that brings in a big-time piece of the puzzle. I don’t expect this deal now, or this summer, or even next winter, but at some point Alderson will turn the page and look to deal from excess to fill in around his Wheelers, Harveys and d’Arnauds, and Ikes and Wrights and Nieses. I like Wilmer’s potential, but I just don’t see how he fits in with the Mets, not just because of Wright, but because the system has so many infielders compared to outfielders. This is why I hope they keep him at third base. He has the most value there. It’s a weak position all across baseball. If the Mets question his future in Queens, because he doesn’t have a defined position, I prefer they do everything they can to protect his value in the minor leagues… especially since he’s still so young…