After hearing about him for what seems like forever, Mets fans will finally get their first look at Wilmer Flores — the Mets have brought him up from the minors and he will likely be starting at third base Tuesday night.
Flores will make his major league debut on his 22nd birthday. He signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old and has been climbing the organization for six years. It took him five years to get beyond A ball, but he now seems to be figuring things out. Last year he hit a combined .300 with 18 home runs and 75 RBIs in high A and Double-A, and this season he has 15 homers and 86 RBIs with a .321 batting average, albeit in the rarefied air of Las Vegas.
Wilmer Flores is a natural shortstop who was switched to second and third base in 2012, an odd move considering that’s when Jose Reyes left a gaping hole at the position. He has played third the past few days in Vegas, preparing him for his major league shot.
I was wondering why the Mets didn’t bring Flores up sooner. I thought they were protecting his trade value as a big-time prospect rather than exposing him to the majors, where he might fail. But now that they are bringing him up and playing him at third instead of shortstop or second (with Daniel Murphy sliding to his natural third base), I think they are showcasing him as trade bait for the off-season. There are not many quality third basemen out there. If the Mets have a good, young one, perhaps they can turn him into the power hitting outfielder they so desperately crave.
If the Mets had intentions of keeping Flores, they would play him at shortstop, where they definitely have a need. Although perhaps Flores is not the best fielder there — he averaged 20 errors per season at short.
In any case, it will be nice to finally see Wilmer Flores. I just wouldn’t get too attached to him.