Wilmer Flores will play second and third base in 2013

Wilmer Flores 4 polaroidIn a Q&A with fans on Thursday, the Mets said Wilmer Flores will continue to work at both second base and third base in the minor leagues during 2013.

The Mets did not say if Flores will see time at first base or in the outfield.

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.

Toby Hyde, Contributor

Putting Flores in the outfield is a bad idea. He’s just not fast enough to ever have better than well below average range in the outfield. No, he can’t learn to get faster. He’ll catch the balls that he can reach, but he will not reach enough in the outfield to be anything other than poor.

Flores at second is more appealing than in leftfield, but I still think that it would be a stretch. He is, and will always be, a second baseman with below average range. Again, he’ll field the grounders he can reach, but he will not reach enough of them. He has good hands and a plus arm, but his feet are slow, too slow for short, and too slow to play an average second base.

Michael Baron, Contributor

It’s easy to forget Flores is still only 21 years old. It feels like we’ve been talking about him forever. He has been compared to Miguel Cabrera in terms of his size and power potential. In talking to Flores, it’s clear he is aware of those comparisons, as well as the buzz he will eventually change positions – whether it’s second base, third base or to the outfield. While he says he’s comfortable playing another position, I wonder if this kind of talk has weighed on him over the early part of his professional career.

It’s clear Flores’ future is still uncertain and, at this point, he is blocked at both first and third base, but that doesn’t mean he can’t become an effective second baseman. In any case, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how he progresses this season and seeing if he can establish himself at a position which is useful for a big league club in the future.