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.