This was a debut five seasons in the making.
Ever since Wilmer Flores was signed by the New York Mets as a 16 year old, Mets fans have been waiting for his arrival. Flores was billed as a top prospect but since his professional debut in 2008, his success has been intermittent at best. Granted injuries have also played a role in Flores struggles to be fair, but he certainly has not lived up to expectations.
When the Mets signed Flores, he was a shortstop but that did not last long. He was ultimately moved around the infield, and was officially called up to make his major league debut on his 22nd birthday. Flores started for the Mets at third base replacing an injured David Wright and batted sixth in the order.
Prior to getting the call to head to New York, Flores has having easily his best professional season in AAA Las Vegas. Quite honestly until this season, the $750,000 player was not showing the signs of living up to the potential the Mets saw in him.
It took Flores over four years to even reach AA. Last season after getting the promotion, the infielder played in 66 games batting .311 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Finally it was starting to look Flores could be a player the Mets could count, but skepticism still was warranted.
This season the Mets started Flores in AAA for the first time and his performance was certainly deserving of a promotion. In 107 games, the 22 year old batted .321 and hit 15 home runs to go with 86 RBI’s and 69 runs scored. If that doesn’t give you optimism for Flores’ future, I’m not sure what will.
Now you must keep in mind Flores is still only 22 year old, so it is very possible that he’s just a late bloomer. The problem though, will be finding him a position. He was called up to play 3B, but that obviously isn’t feasible since the Mets have David Wright there. Shortstop will not work for Flores, and Daniel Murphy has a pretty good hold on 2B. With Ike Davis continuing to struggle, perhaps Flores or Murphy can find some playing time at 1B, but that still remains to be seen. First, Flores needs to prove himself in this stint replacing Wright.Yes it is just one game, but in his debut tonight, Flores went 0-4 in the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
For much of the last two seasons, the focus on the Mets’ farm system has started and ended with their pitching prospects. At least for today, it is nice to have a position player come up to the major league team that could potentially have an impact.