Wilmer Flores continues to struggle at the plate

maggieMaggie Wiggin: Mets SS Wilmer Flores went 1-for-8 with three walks during the recently-concluded, four-game series with the Cubs, dropping his season average to .228. Since his most recent promotion at the end of July, he’s batting a disappointing .232, though he has handled himself well in the field.

The overwhelming consensus is that Flores’s bat will translate to the major leagues eventually. What is holding him back from reaching his offensive potential in his short career so far?


MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies


Flores has shown little plate discipline, which is common for young players, walking well below average and swinging frequently at pitches out of the zone. He has never walked much in the minors, so it’s not likely he’ll start in the big leagues. He’ll need to maintain a high average in order to be productive at the plate, by putting the ball in play and by making good contact.

One positive for Flores is that he has drastically improved his strikeout rate from last season. He makes a lot of contact, even on pitches out of the zone, so he’s succeeding at putting the ball in play.

The problem so far is the quality of that contact. Flores is hitting some line drives, which is a good sign, but he’s also hitting a lot of fly balls. Fly balls aren’t conducive to a high average in general, and Flores just doesn’t have the power necessary to turn those into hits. While he is still developing strength at only 23 years old, his build and his minor league performance suggest he’d be better served by keeping the ball on the ground.

With a knack for making contact and relatively little natural power, Flores should look to Daniel Murphy as a model for success. Like Flores, Murphy keeps his strikeout rate very low by connecting with a lot of good pitches. Flores can learn to adjust his approach to do a better job of fouling them off (like Murphy) instead of putting them weakly into play. This should result in more hard-hit balls and a higher average. More line drives (and harder-hit line drives) will also result in more extra base hits, of which Flores has only 12 in 240 major league plate appearances.

Now that Flores is seeing consistent playing time, he should have the opportunity to tweak his approach more effectively. With some minor adjustments, he could be on his way to meeting, or at least nearing, the high expectations that have surrounded him since he was just 16.




141 comments
heffernan
heffernan

You guys are crazy !!!

Flores is 23 freaking years old. You know where Daniel Murphy was at 23,  AA BALL !!


Kid has talent, you just have to wait for it to blossom sometimes.

Kevin Joseph Patrick
Kevin Joseph Patrick

For all his struggles, he has still produced more than Tejada has for the past 2 years.

"The quality of the contact" is evident just by looking at the way he swings the bat. When he is on fire, hitting HRs, his swing doesn't look the same at all.


Fun fact:

Wilmer hit .240 with no one on base in AAA. But .420 with RISP.


And don't blame Vegas. 11 of his 13 HRs were on the road.

Olerud42
Olerud42

Kids will struggle. Nothing to worry about yet. 

Marc Singleton
Marc Singleton

Most Mets Fans Continue to Struggle with Being a Mets Fan

Blanca Recinos
Blanca Recinos

Wilmer, welcome aboard. No one in this organization can hit. Look no further than all of Sandys draft picks and FA signings! The man has no idea what he is doing.

Darrin Childs
Darrin Childs

This just in ALL the Mets struggle at the plate. So lets not just point out one of them.

hashburry
hashburry

He has one of the worst swings I have ever seen.

Doubleday
Doubleday

Off-topic, but what happened to Jeff Wilpon and his "Ya Gotta Tejada" account, and his annoying sidekick kid?

Michael Zvirblis
Michael Zvirblis

Well who said the other day that hitting .275 is now the new .300?

cj1786
cj1786

I think its still a matter of just playing every day.  To me when I see Flores hit it just looks like a confidence thing.  He really just looks tentative up there. Like he's afraid to be aggressive any just take a rip up there.  Almost like he just trying to make contact and not strike out instead of putting a good aggressive swing on the ball.  He was tearing the cover off the ball in AAA. I realize its not big league pitching and its a hitter park out there, but he clearly didn't put up the numbers he was down there with the same approach he's using now. 

Bottom line is we know what Tejada is, so just play Flores every day and see what he has. 

saveme
saveme

What's stopping him from any chance to succeed is TERRY COLLINS.  He has jerked this kid for two years

Doubleday
Doubleday

Flores is a free swinger who doesn't walk a lot. Recall that he does not "hunt strikes" like the Hudgins model. The way Flores hits, he drives in a lot of runs. He is simply not suited to bat 8th, it is like asking John Kruk to hit 8th. It isn't rocket science, it is common sense, and our manager has none. Bat Wilmer 6th for a week, and you will see a different result. Right now, he is a square peg that Terry is trying to shove into some round hole, to appease the upper management. Misappropriating you players in the batting order never works for the player or the team.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

You hate judging young players based first or second seasons but he isn't a major league ss, obviously, and can't hit nearly well enough to justify at another position.

surfer1
surfer1

Ye of  little faith in Wilmer

He will be a stud hitter...He's showing he could play SS and hitting will be next...Patience

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

Ill believe he cant hit when he gets 500 at bats in a season and sucks...he needs to play to improve.

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

Make him a serviceable option for 3B and package him. If he can turn on the hitting at MLB levels, you have a corner infielder at the lower power position. This is a no-brainer. the problem is that he's got to launch in the middle of a bad lineup. He'll be undervalued in trade and will do well for some other team.


To me, he has the makings of a Pablo Sandoval type who'll hit a few HR's in many other ballparks (and stay slimmer).

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

He'll hit but, his OBP? And, as he fills out he'll never get more range nor any better in the field, hes not a ML SS and probaby not even a Dan Murphy at 2B ether, so the dilemna is where should he play? As part of a multiplayer trade for a powerful OF'er or a MLB SS is probably the best place for him...

artie412
artie412

I'm shocked. Didn't these guys get AAA tutoring from Wally and Lamar? (dripping with sarcasm).

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Mets have no shortage of quadruple A players. How many times now have we seen Captain Kirk revert to form?Had higher hopes for den Dekker but none of these guys have shown very much to this point.

rock44
rock44

Can Collins get Flores out of the 8th spot in the lineup so we can see what he can do? How about batting him second?

Chris Brennan
Chris Brennan

He's 23 and if I'm right doesn't have 100 major league at bats. How about like everybody should've done with d'Arnaud, we leave him alone and let him adjust.

Jeff Robins
Jeff Robins

The most important part is that "he has handled himself well in the field." The bat will come around. What were weren't sure of was whether, with his size, he could field the position. Even though he played SS at age 16, his body outgrew the position. The fitness and agility course he attended this Winter probably helped a lot.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

I'm not sure what Flores potential will be down the road. Right now, he looks like a career AAA ball player. Sometimes it takes frequent play time to get going. Since our Metsies are not headed for a playoff spot, we need to keep Wilmer on the field and give him the opportunity to succeed or fail.

Blanca Recinos
Blanca Recinos

But this is the one effecting Terry pet Tejadas playing time.

Metsfan62
Metsfan62

@hashburry  He's just not that good .  But you are right his swing sucks ! 

saxon
saxon

@cj1786 

Number one, Flores knows that Collins prefers Tejada..

Number two, he's a natural 3 hitter...Not #8

Number three... He has EVERYONE saying he can't play SS in the big leagues...

jamets
jamets

@Doubleday  What nonsense.  If you're a good hitter you can hit wherever they put your name in the lineup.  Maybe hitting 8th is a challenge for him, but that doesn't explain a .547 OBP.

I know they're all small sample sizes, but Flores actually has hit 7th more than 8th, and he's done worse hitting 7th. 

saxon
saxon

I believe in Flores...

saxon
saxon

@Kenneth Meltsner 

And this is based on how many games this call up for MDD? Kirk might not make it...Flores will, most likely not as a Met...Another Gomez deal...[without the stud fielding]

saxon
saxon

@rock44 

Agree or even better, 3rd...his natural position in the order...RUN PRODUCER

joe21
joe21

@Chris Brennan  250 ABs so far...still too small of a sample but getting up there

wingo43
wingo43

@Blanca Recinos So Ruben Tejada is the focus of all of the Mets' hitting woes?   lol


What about Granderson?  Wright?  LF?

shinjoooo
shinjoooo

@saxon @cj1786 Let me guess.  You were a guy saying that Collins was holding Valdespin back last year.

saxon
saxon

@jamets @Doubleday 

How did Duda hit playing left field last year and being jerked around the order and in some games and out others? Not good...Much better this year with 1 position to focus on...

Now, Flores up and down to AAA 3 times this year, first he played 2nd base, then 3rd base and his fielding took a hit in AAA...Then SS, but he concentrated on his hitting to which not many at all where better in AAA over the last 2 years...Yes I know its AAA, but, how do clubs base players in the minors?? By their numbers, right? He earned it and now will need time to adjust up here...

shinjoooo
shinjoooo

@saxon @rock44 Better yet, they should just name him to the 2015 All-Star team... that way, he'll get better even quicker!

Chris Brennan
Chris Brennan

@joe21 @Chris Brennan Yeah with really only a couple of weeks of consistent playing time. He can it. He's hit everywhere and he's young. We just dont have the collective patience for this kind of development because A) this team is and has been awful for years B) we dont know if he's even part of the long term plan to correct that.

jamets
jamets

@Albert E Lewis @MetsFan1962  That's not good enough to make up for his D at SS and its barely adequate for a 3B.  If that is truly his ceiling then he'll be out of baseball very quickly.


He has to be a .290+ hitter to have any real value.

realityck
realityck

@Albert E Lewis @MetsFan1962 Yes "Eventually" he could, and just might exceed that. But everyone here is screaming for hitter now.We all gotta be patient or just let him go on a trade. we can't have both

saxon
saxon

@shinjoooo @saxon @cj1786 

Not too good of a guesser... If Flores was 25/26 I'd say dump him...but, he just turned 23 2 weeks ago..

shinjoooo
shinjoooo

@saxon @jamets @Doubleday So, do you credit Collins for Duda hitting better this year... or do you just blame him when players don't do well?

surfer1
surfer1

@borsh13 

Nope...new poster and not anonymous...Surfer1..