After spending what seemed like about 20 years in the Mets minor league system, Wilmer Flores will make his debut with the big club tonight.
Flores, who turns 22 today, was signed by the Mets out of Venezuela at the tender age of 16. Flores was hitting .321/.357/.531 at Triple-A Las Vegas this year with a league leading total of 86 RBIs. He also had 36 doubles and 15 home runs.
Flores has hit at every level of the minor leagues, and has shown extra base pop along the way. He hasn’t shown outstanding home run power, and some of his 15 bombs this year could have been inflated by the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He did hit 18 last year between Single and Double-A last year, however. And at 22, he still has time to grow into his 6′ 3″ frame.
While his hit tool is largely considered legitimate, he has below-average speed and limited range in the field. He was drafted as a shortstop, but has played mostly at second base this year, with a few starts at third. He’s expected to stay at the hot corner in the major leagues as long as David Wright is on the disabled list.
He’s still searching for a permanent position on the field, but a corner infield spot probably makes the most sense, especially if some of his minor league power begins to translate to the major league level.
His MLB journey begins tonight.