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Since both began their careers as much-hyped, power-hitting shortstops, Flores is often compared to Miguel Cabrera. But despite Flores' disappointing spring training, he should continue to dominate the minors as the Mets hope he can one day come close to Cabrera's status.
For a player who is constantly compared to Miguel Cabrera, Wilmer Flores has not put up spring-training numbers that coincide with his promise.
Flores has arguably had a better minor-league career at his age than Cabrera. But Cabrera had a monstrous Double-A season as a 20-year-old to catapult him into the majors.
Flores should begin 2013 with his first season in Double-A. But this spring, Flores has not produced at all. He has three hits and one RBI in 21 at-bats this spring.
There are only a few reasons that Flores’ grade is as high as it is.
First, he still hits the ball incredibly hard, and despite the poor stats he has plenty of promise. Second, Flores only recorded two strikeouts. Power hitters tend to strike out just as often as they get hits, but Flores has shown a natural ability to put the ball in play. Lastly, Flores has played fairly good defense alternating between second and third base.
With Wright hogging third base for the next decade, Flores moved to second base last season and this spring. This move makes a lot of sense if he wants consistent playing time on the Mets.
At only 21, Flores has a lot of time to hone his game for the majors. A player who was once a 16-year-old raw prospect is slowly becoming the complete package the Mets envisioned.
Flores has played in spring training for five straight years and has a career .174 average. Last season, Flores hit a combined .300 with 30 doubles, 18 home runs, 75 RBI and only 60 strikeouts in 138 games.
Therefore, Flores’ poor spring training grade this year does not mean anything.
While the comparisons to Cabrera are optimistic at best, Flores should continue to dominate the minor leagues until his long-awaited call-up.