Wilmer Flores destroying it

Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 10 games yesterday with an RBI single in the first inning in Savannah. Flores is now hitting .361 in his second season in the South Atlantic League with a .403 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging.

Cool. Flores took a perceived step backward last season when he posted unspectacular numbers as a 17-year-old in A ball, but of course it’s important to note he was a 17-year-old in A ball.

Toby Hyde’s offseason prospect rankings noted that, according to a Mets’ official, Flores had a “historically good” strikeout percentage for a teenager playing in the SAL.

Clicking around baseball-reference’s Sally League stats archive, it does appear Flores struck out particularly infrequently relative to his age. It’s hard to say, but I’d guess the Mets officially didn’t mean “historically good” so much as “good, historically.” And a big part of what makes it tough to compare is that so few players reach the Sally League at Flores’ age. Even now, in his second full season at the level, he’s the third-youngest player in the circuit.

In a small 77 plate-appearance sample this season, Flores has maintained — actually, lowered — his strikeout percentage. The 18-year-old has whiffed only six times. That’s got to be a good sign.

I’m no expert in analyzing Minor League stats, especially at so low a level, but based on the fact that Flores is neither striking out nor walking very frequently, I’d guess Sally League pitchers simply can’t get much past him. He’s hitting the ball in nearly every plate appearance, and based on his slugging percentage, it’s a safe bet he’s hitting it pretty hard.

So that’s cool. And it’s a meandering way of saying I’m excited to see it for myself on Thursday, when I’ll be in Savannah on the first leg of a baseball road trip.

4 thoughts on “Wilmer Flores destroying it

  1. This kid looks good although by all accounts he doesn’t have the tools to stay a SS mostly from a lack of speed and he’s still growing. I’m sorta curious where he will end up. He seems to be a 3rd baseman or corner OF.

  2. I’m starting to get really excited about this kid. His swing reminds me of A-Rod’s, and the numbers he is putting up at this age are just ridiculous. There is a chance that he is a hitting savant who will be mashing in the majors in a couple of years. We haven’t had a prospect about whom you could honestly say that since Jefferies or Strawberry. He is what they thought F-Mart was going to be when they signed him.

    Anyone who thought he took a step backward last year is not thinking clearly. He was 17 year old kid playing with 20 and 21 year olds, and he simply tired down the stretch from the grind of playing everyday baseball at such a young age. It’s awesome that Toby is down there tracking our most exciting prospect.

    And Dave, you’re right, his nickname is the Turtle (in Spanish), so he will not last at SS. He’ll either be a corner infielder or a corner outfielder.

  3. I wonder if the low K and BB numbers are a signal that he could develop better if he were promoted another level, even though he is so young. If it’s the case that Sally League pitchers can’t get anything past him, not even pitches outside the strike zone, the league could be getting too easy for him, and slowing the development of his pitch selection. It may make sense to promote Flores to a level where he needs to figure out what pitches he should swing at and which he shouldn’t.

    • He’ll be in St. Lucie before the All-Star break. Nothing wrong with letting an 18 year old kid mash in low A for awhile.

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