Ask about NY Mets Wilmer Flores fielding and you might get the answer ‘He has a good bat’. The 25 year old infielder from Venezuela has excelled at the plate, mostly getting his at-bats against left-handed pitchers. You can see how well he has done this season in the interactive graph below:
Wilmer Flores Fielding
Flores has been used at all four infield positions in his career. He came up as a shortstop as he explained last season to Vice Sports
I started playing shortstop when I was 15 years old, so that was my first position. I started playing third base in winter ball before 2012. So I had an idea of how to play there. I like all of [my positions], but if I had to choose, I would say second base. I try to show up here and if they say you’re playing second base, I shoot out there and play. That’s my preparation. If you start thinking about a lot of the things you have to do, that’s a lot of information. There’s four positions in the infield for me. So I just show up here and play—and that’s it.
Many of the errors that Wilmer makes are throwing errors. This is because he has trouble getting his body vertically aligned before throwing the ball. His feet are slow, so his upper body is not in a line with his lower body when he makes the throw. He’ll often appear to be falling down as he releases the ball, which results in an inaccurate throw.
Crying for a Position
Because of this, Flores best position is first base. He has a quick first reaction (from playing third base) and a good glove when he doesn’t have to move much to get to the ball. You can see his career fielding numbers at each position in the table below:
The next best position for Wilmer is second base. Again, the less distance that he has to travel and shorter throws help him. You can see the made plays and missed plays during his career at both second base and first base in the charts below. The less distance that he has to travel or throw the ball, the better that he has performed. Here is the second base chart:
Here is the first base chart:
Wilmer Flores’ below average fielding skills and potent right-handed bat makes him a possible DH candidate for an American League team someday. But he could also be part of a first base solution for the Mets next season if Lucas Duda is not re-signed. Wilmer is being paid $2.2 million this season. You can read more about why Flores is platooned by the Mets in this earlier post.
Photo by keithallison