Wilmer Flores has grown through the trials and expected doom of his experiment

Wilmer Flores


Baron

Tom Hanks once said in a feature movie, “There’s no crying in baseball.”

Maybe there should be, because Wilmer Flores has flourished since the day he was nearly traded for Carlos Gomez on July 29, and cried his eyes out in front of the Citi Field faithful.

He’s emerged as a cult hero of sorts among Mets fans, receiving an ovation every time he takes the field and comes to bat.

He’s notched two game winning RBI since nearly being traded – once against the Nationals and the other against the Rays. Since that date, Flores is hitting .304/.339/.500 with five doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in a span of 17 games.

In fairness, his successful stretch spans further back than July 31. He’s hitting .306/.336/.418 with 11 extra-base hits and 14 RBI in 140 plate appearances over his last 37 games.

What’s more impressive, Flores has run an errorless streak to 62 games, dating back to May 30 against the Marlins. He also has not made an error in 30 games at second base this season, emerging as a capable infielder despite his limited range.

Considering everything he has gone through as a pawn for the team at shortstop and what seemed as inevitable failure at the position, he was able to brush off all of the whispers, all the negativity and all of the doubt of his skill set, embrace the challenge and improve through it.

And Flores has become quite the timely hitter over the course of the year with his eight game-winning RBI in the process. He nearly had another game-winning RBI with his go-ahead home run just three days ago in the seventh inning against the Orioles.

Flores has truly become the reliable player the Mets needed him to be entering the season. He’s not graceful at times, he swings at a lot of pitches and often times beats himself in his plate appearances. But he has a knack for the big hit and seems to have developed a fearless mentality.

He’s become smoother and more confident as an infielder as well, perhaps playing even better than they expected he would during this long stretch of games.

It’s hard enough to survive the mental trials of his journey this season, let alone find ways to get better. It seems to have helped him grow and mature as a player, because he is a better player today than he was even a month ago.

Perhaps Flores is a true pioneer, and there should be crying in baseball.

3 Comments

Nice article…Flores won alot of hearts with his reaction to being traded….I always liked his offensive potential and was satisfied with his “average” defense… Its great to see the positive impact he’s had this season.. I wish him many more in a METS uni…!

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Wilmer has a lot of nice qualities, but he does not belong at SS. That he’s playing there does not make it so.

He made an error the other day, on August 21st.

But an otherwise lack of errors since May 30th, is but one criteria in rating SS play. He’s too slow in nearly everything including range, footwork, getting up after dive, long arm action, etc. There are plays that should be made, that log as hits that should be outs. On a playoff caliber team, he shpuld not be playing SS.

His best position is second base, is solid there.

On offense, he has very low OBP and no power to right field. His power is to left field, His home run pace has very much slowed given pitchers have wised up how to approach him.

I like Wilmer Flores the person, his resiliency, work ethic, effort, love of Mets, his humble nature and some of his baseball skills including clutch hitting, plate confidence and left field pop.

But again, he should not be playing shortstop on a contender.

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This kid has a bright future he will only get better I see the future Eduardo Alfonzo. LGM

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