For one reason or another, the New York Mets have spent most of September giving playing time to their younger players with the hope that some of their top prospects will prove that they’re ready to be full-time players in the majors. However, several of their rookies have struggled at the plate late in the season and aren’t proving that they can take on a more significant role in 2014.
Wilmer Flores has been one of the Mets’ most exciting offensive prospects for many years, but he hasn’t quite looked the part just yet. He got off to a promising start and was an RBI machine during his first week or so in the big leagues, but he has slowed down considerably since.
In fairness to Flores, he suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season while in triple-A that he re-aggravated after his MLB debut, and that injury has hindered his performance and forced him to miss some games. Known as more of a hitter than a fielder, it’s not a good sign for the Mets that he’s only hitting .211/.250/.289. Flores struggling doesn’t make the Mets more inclined to find a position for him heading into next season, nor does it increase his trade value if the Mets try to use him as trade bait this offseason.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has also had a sluggish start to his big league career. He was the big prize in the R.A. Dickey trade last offseason, and after missing most of the minor league season with an injury, d’Arnaud is having trouble getting going offensively, hitting for neither average or power with a line of .163/.236/.225.
The Mets are hoping that both Flores and d’Arnaud will help anchor the middle of their lineup for many years to come, but as rookies they’ve struggled at the plate. This has been disappointing to see and doesn’t make the outlook for the 2014 season quite as promising as the Mets would like.