What does 2013 hold for Wilmer Flores?

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In a post to Minor League Ball, John Sickels downgrades Mets 3B prospect Wilmer Flores from a B+ to a B-, despite saying, “I am very impressed with the improvement he showed with the bat.”

The knock on Flores is his fielding. He has always read like a guy without a position. I’ve watched him play third and second, where he looks ‘good enough,’ though also a bit amateurish.

“His arm works just fine at third and he doesn’t make an excessive number of errors, but his range is mediocre,” Sickels explains. “His bat profiles better at second base, but he probably lacks the requisite quickness to play there long-term. He doesn’t run well enough to be an attractive outfield option, but will he hit enough to play first base? Obviously, there are still a lot of questions about Flores, but his stock with the bat has definitely rebounded.”

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 Sandy 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. In their boom years, the Phillies developed lots of prospects, they kept some, but traded others, like Anthony Gose (for Roy Oswalt), Lou Marson (for Cliff Lee) and d’Arnaud (for Roy Halladay). I see Flores in this camp. I like Wilmer’s potential, but I just don’t see how he fits in with the Mets (especially with David Wright locked in long term).

This is why I hope the Mets keep him at third base. As Sickels suggests, Flores has the most value there. It’s a weak position all across baseball, just ask the Rangers and Mike Olt. This year, Flores may end up with 30 home runs in the hitter-friendly Las Vegas ballpark… as a third baseman. 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 just 21 years old…