Yesterday the New York Mets sent Wilmer Flores, one of their top prospects, to minor league camp. The move wasn’t a surprise, as he only has a half a year of experience above A-ball, and he wasn’t a serious contender to make the Mets opening-day roster, especially after just three hits in 21 spring training at bats. However, entering his second season as a member of the Mets 40 man roster, his future with the organization is still clouded.
After playing shortstop most of his minor league career, Flores has now moved off of that position completely and is splitting time between second base and third base. That appears to be the plan for Flores going forward, but with third base at Citi Field taken for the rest of the decade and Flores’ ability to play second base questionable at best, it isn’t much of a plan.
We did see Flores play second base this spring, and he appeared to handle himself well, albeit in a small sample size. He made routine plays on balls that were hit near him and showed a surprising ability to cleanly turn double plays at second base, where his strong arm helps get the ball to first base in time. But for every moment that was encouraging with regards to his ability to play second base, there were an equal number of moments where Flores was helpless to make a play on a ball that a quicker and more athletic second baseman would have been able to make. The Mets could choose to keep him at second base and hope that his offense makes up for his deficiencies on defense, but that would require a lot of offensive production from Flores, while also forcing the Mets to deal with constant frustration at makeable plays for most second basemen, but not Flores.
If playing second base is the only option on the table for the Mets regarding Flores, they might as well have no options. At a time in his career when they need to have a plan in place, the Mets have no clear plan for him moving forward, at least one that has a good chance of working; and that’s a concern for the Mets, especially considering Flores is one of their top hitting prospects.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.