Small Sample Size Alert - if this sort of thing pisses you off, read no further
The Mets are in deep search for a starting shortstop (although I don't think Alderson is being as aggressive as Mets fans would like). Should Sandy be unsuccessful in reeling in a "proven" shortstop, should Sandy be as leery as we need to be about Profar's shoulder, should Sandy simply not want to pay $118m for a track record of less than 100 games a year of Tulowitski, should Sandy simply not want to trade a stud minor league pitcher for another hyped minor league SS not named Russell or Baez - we are stuck with Wilmer Flores as our starting shortstop next year.
I, for one (and seemingly the only one) am totally psyched by the potential of giving this kid 500 plate appearances next year. I'm PRAYING we don't go get someone else.
I'm not going to rehash his minor league numbers, that's pretty well known and strangely not being celebrated by Mets fans who make over-hyping Mets' minor league numbers an art form. I'd like to look at his second half as a 22 year old in MLB. There are VERY exciting numbers there.
12.79. That's the number that gets me fired up. That would have led the National League last year.
.255. That's another number that gets me fired up. That will HAVE to come up next year.
In the second half this year, our 22 year old Flores went for .257/.295/.408. Meh. A .400+ slug percentage out of a 22 year old SS is nice looking, but the rest doesn't excite. But I'm fired up - and its the strikeouts (or lack of them). He struck out 14 times in a 179 At bats, which would have ranked 1st in the NL (over Ben Revere's 12.3 for the year). Typically, the league leader in AB/K is a slap hitter; Juan Pierre excelled at it. Finding a kid that hit 5 hrs in 191 at bats and with league average BABIP bouncing his slugging percentage to about .450 and DOESN'T STRIKE OUT is something special.
Reiterating SSS disclaimer. But also reiterating - he was only 22!!!!
Over the course of 150 games, his second half counting stats project to 30 doubles, 3 triples, 15 homeruns. And 42 k's. Did I mention he was 22? How is that not exciting? He got better as the year went on. His September stats were particularly impressive (admittedly against a lot of recently recalled pitchers) - .267/.302/.489 (again, a .250 BABIP). 7k's against 5 bb's
He looks BAD at SS, yet his fielding numbers didn't bare it out. As opposed to that OTHER NY SS, who looked great while annually putting up horrible defensive numbers. I could care less how he looked, to be honest.
I got another kid - a 23 year old that struck out 8 times in his 93 at bat cuppa - he hit for decent power (5 hrs) in a hitter's paradise, and walked a little more than our 22 year old. Yeah - you are damn right I'm comparing Wilmer Flores with Todd Helton.
Bold prediction - he will be given 500PA in 2015, hitting 42 doubles, 5 triples, and 18 hrs. I'm going .285/.325/.470. He'll look terrible at SS. He won't be the worst defensive starting SS in baseball, but in the bottom third. He won't cost Syndergaard. His salary won't exceed $150k. As a 23 year old.
And still Mets fans won't be excited. Whatever.