The Mets have many well known issues up and down the roster, and Wilmer Flores has been the target of much hate and blame from the Mets faithful and the media through the first 2 months of the season, but it needs to stop. Wilmer Flores, just 23 years young, is not your ideal shortstop, that is a given. He is big, slow and thus has limited range. However, he has an above average arm, a willingness to learn and improve, and is very coachable. He makes the majority of the routine plays and makes other plays some shortstops can’t, due to his arm. Does he make stupid errors? Yes. Does he hurt the pitchers at times? Yes. Does he make up for some of these mishaps with his ability at the plate? Yes! Does he hide from the media despite all of the doubt and negativity or after a tough game? Never.
Wilmer Flores hit his 7th home run of the season yesterday, 5 of those 7 coming in inning 5 or later. He now leads the team as well as all major league shortstops in that power category. He also has more home runs than Tulo and Starlin Castro.. combined! He is hitting a respectable .252 but surely needs to improve his .287 on-base percentage. Over his last ten games, he is batting .282 with 2 homers, 8 RBI’s and just 3 strikeouts (which to me is most impressive from a team that has struck out nearly 50 times in the last 4 games).
To go along with the improving offense, Flores hasn’t made an error in the field in 10 days, after committing 9 errors in the Mets’ first 31 games of the season. He is listening to the coaches and adjusting from pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat to place himself in the best possible position for each batter. He continues to show off his strong throwing arm and the throws have gotten more accurate as well. While he will never become the next Andrelton Simmons or Ozzie Smith, he can become serviceable and with the offensive potential, serviceable is more than acceptable, especially with a more adept player next to him at second base, which is hopefully Dilson Herrera when he returns from injury.