Outfielder Ramon Flores may not be the first prospect that New York Yankees fans will think about heading into Spring Training. However, while more polished products like Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott will receive a great amount of attention in Tampa this year, Flores is certainly not a prospect for Yankee fans to forget about.
At the ripe age of 21, the Venezuelan has been with the organization in their lower ranks for a couple of years. He signed in July 2008 for $775,000, an investment that will soon pay off massively.
2012 marked the first year in which Flores spent in high-A, where he posted a .302/.370/.420 triple-slash in 131 games. He was promoted in 2013 to double-A Trenton, and his production didn’t really impress anybody. In 136 games with Trenton last season, Flores had a line of .260/.353/.363. His numbers as a whole don’t exactly explain the type of season that Flores had.
He seemed to struggle well into July, but he became white-hot in August, hitting .309/.406/.447 with 10 doubles and 20 walks. He accomplished all of that in 30 games. It appears that towards the end of the year Flores was able to start adjusting to double-A caliber pitching. He helped the Trenton Thunder reach the Eastern League playoffs and win the league title. He finished the playoffs going 9-for-26 in six games.
Heading into 2014, the strong finish to the 2013 season should give Flores more confidence to develop himself as a major leaguer. Chances seem likely that Heathcott will start the year in triple-A, so it appears Flores will be in double-A with Austin and Williams. He’ll need to pick up his plate discipline as his strikeout total rose in 2013.
He won’t be in the Bronx anytime soon as he is far from ready for a MLB workload, but if he shows the same form that he had at the end of last season, he can certainly enter himself in the conversation with the three aforementioned players to possibly become a part the main outfield prospect conversation for the Yankees in the future.