FanPost

Is Flores getting the shaft?

After viewing some top 100 prospect lists, I started to wonder if Flores was getting unjustifiably screwed over because his best position was blocked by Wright. Almost all lists have him as a 2B and question his ability to either play the position now or long term. After that, they immediately mention him as a 1B, skipping over 3B because he has no realistic way of playing 3B without an injury to Wright. I began to think he was not getting enough love after seeing Matt Davidson ranked 80 by MLB.com and 88 by KLaw. Davidson is a near perfect prospect comparison to Flores as they are similar in age (Flores is a little over 4 months younger) and played a near equal amount of games in the PCL last year (Davidson's 115 to Flores' 107). The purpose of this FanPost is to compare the two using current scouting reports (KLaw, MLB.com and Sickles) and stats (baseball-reference and fangraphs) before ending with a poll asking who is the better prospect.

Hit Tool

Flores hold a significant edge in terms of hit tool. Flores hit .321 in AAA last year compared to Davidson's .280. Flores has a career batting average of .290 compared to Davidson's .268. MLB.com gave Flores a 60 for his hit tool while Davidson received a 50. Meanwhile, Sickles projects Davidson as a .240-.250 hitter, probably peaking a little higher. Also of note, is the fact that they posted similar BABIP last year (.359 for Davidson and Flores' .342) and for their careers with Davidson oscillating between .304 and .359 and Flores' posting BABIPs between .286 and .342.

Power

Power is often labeled as Davidson's calling card, but the difference between the two is perhaps minimal. MLB.com gave Davidson a 60 for power compared to Flores' 55. Sickles believes Davidson can slug ~.450 in the majors while KLaw believes he can hit 35 doubles with 15-20 homers. Neither Sickles or KLaw have offered a projection for Flores. However, when comparing the stats Flores narrows the gap (maybe a slight lead, but I'm to lazy to compare park factors. But since they both played in the PCL Pacific, their total park factors should be roughly equal). Flores had 55 (15 HR, 36 2B) extra base hits and .210 iso in 107 games compared to Davidson's 52 (17 HR, 32 2B) XBH and .201 iso in 115 games.

Speed

Neither player offers anything in terms of speed. Flores has a career total of 15 SB while Davidson has a grand total of 4. MLB.com gave Davidson a grade of 30 for his speed while giving Flores a 20. It is important to note that Sandy Alderson sent Flores to fat camp ( or "fitness" camp), possibly improving his speed through better conditioning and explosiveness, although any gains are probably minimal.

Plate Discipline

The two players differ greatly in terms of approach at the plate. Davidson had a BB% of 9.2 last year and for his minor league career, it has ranged between 7 and 12%. Meanwhile, his K% was 26.8% last year and has ranged between 21.9 and 26.8%. In comparison, Flores walked at 5.4% clip last year, and has ranged between 3.1 and 7.3%. However, his K% was only 13.6% and ranged between 10.6 and 13.8%. This is the largest difference between the two. All told the two players ended up with a similar OBP (Flores' .357 to Davidson's .350) last year. Also, a more patient approach by Flores can perhaps result in similar rates to Davidson's as Flores' rates are almost exactly half that of Davidson.

Defense

This is the most hypothetical section and it lacks a lot of quantification. Flores was a former SS and is seen as a borderline 2B, with some believing he can be passable and others skeptical or outright adamant he cannot hack it. However, most scouts state he has soft hands and can easily field anything he can get to and has a good arm. So it is plausible to believe he can be an adequate or even average 3B. Similarly, Davidson has a strong arm and has had to put in at lot of work to improve his range and hands to stay at 3B. All 3 sources state Davidson will most likely end up as an average 3B defensively. To summarize, Davidson most likely holds an advantage in terms of defense but the advantage can be minimal.

Summary

All, told Flores is projected or has hit for a better average while posting a similar power output. Davidson and Flores will post a similar OBP due to Davidson's superior BB%. The similar power and OBP should result in a similar wRC+ (129 to 117 Flores advantage last year). Davidson seems to offer slightly more defensively, although that gap may be negligible and neither should offer any value with their base running. So, in your opinion, when compared as 3B prospects, does Flores compare similarly, worse or better than Matt Davidson.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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