Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, who has been breaking down the top 10 prospects at each position leading up to the unveiling of his ’2013 Top 100 on January 29th, revealed his top third base prospects for the upcoming season. As Mayo points out, of his 2012 list, “two have graduated to the Major League and two have changed positions, giving this year’s edition four new names.” One holdover from the 2012 list that has actually remained in the same position on the list (#9), is 21-year-old Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets.
Last season Flores started the year at High-A with the St. Lucie Mets, where he hit .289 with 10 homers in 242 at-bats before being moved up to Double-A Binghamton and was selected to participate in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. While with Binghamton the then 20-year-old infielder hit .311 and belted 8 more homers in 251 at-bats.
When the offseason came Flores decided to play in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he batted .272 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI over 195 at-bats.
Heading into 2013, Mayo had the following to say about the #9 third base prospect on his list:
Photo by Michael G. Baron
Signed out of Venezuela in 2007 for $750,000, Flores had trouble getting out of A-ball but took a big step forward in 2012. A two-time Futures Game participant, he earned a promotion to Double-A and hit well there, starting to show power and plate discipline and turning potential into performance. A shortstop for much of his career, he shifted to third in 2012, though he dabbled a bit at second base as well. His feel for hitting should help him get to the big leagues. Where his long-term defensive home is remains to be seen.”
As I said last week, when Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Travis d’Arnaud were all feature on Mayo’s previous lists, predicting the future of prospects is far from an exact science, but there’s no downside to having the ‘experts’ weigh in positively on some of the Mets youngsters.