Posted by Matt Gad at 12:00 PM
Many fans can poke at the decision that may ultimately be that lackluster Wilmer Flores will be the Opening Day shortstop when the team breaks camp. Also, Ruben Tejada is currently slated as his backup, however, this can all change. A lot of fans, and some media members are predicting that the future off-season moves won't concern the shortstop position, as with Sandy's comments, it almost seems as he would be fine if the job was given to Flores for the regular season.
It is good and it is bad. While Flores is still not a natural shortstop, he was able to put up some solid numbers last season for the games he played in. Flores excelled in 78 games last season, collecting 13 doubles and 65 hits total, with one triple and six home runs. Also, Wilmer had 29 RBIs on the year. He did all of this in 274 plate appearances. While ideally, the Mets would prefer a defensive shortstop, they may need to make an upgrade for another top hitter, and it could land up needing to be at the shortstop position, as it is pretty much the only fully unknown position as we speak, other than in the starting rotation (if there's a trade), in the bullpen, and on the bench.
There was also interest in what Texas has to offer, with three shortstops currently on their roster, headlined by Elvis Andrus. There is also interest among Jurickson Profar, however, a report recently indicated it seems as if the team's interest in these players has swayed. New York is also looking at a pair of defectors, in Japanese star Takashi Toritani, who is 33, and Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang. Toritani also has Scott Boras as his agent, and despite strong comments he would "fit perfectly" into the league, his age could still be considered a question mark if you wanted to build a future at that specific position.
Down the line, the shortstops the Mets have in the fold, in the farm system are headlined by Matt Reynolds, who is 24 years old, who hits from the right side of the plate, and is 6 foot 1, and 198 lbs. He was drafted out of Arkansas by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, and has since spent time in Class-A Savannah, Double-A Binghmaton, and parts of the other years with Las Vegas, the B-Mets, and the St. Lucie Mets. His career minor-league baseball numbers include 286 games, 1,072 plate appearances, 164 runs scored, and 217 hits. Reynolds also collected a career batting average of. .283, and is expected to be starting alongside Dilson Herrera next year at shortstop. Herrera, who was called up late last year from Double-A never spent time in Vegas yet. The 51ers were in the playoffs, and it didn't make sense to pull one of them out of a playoff run, even if it was for the big league club, because eventually, it would happen. For more seasoning, Herrera will also spend this year with the Las Vegas club.
We'll just have to see if Sandy Alderson will risk the immediate future, believing Reynolds, or someone else in the organization will emerge, or he will decide to market a big-ticket stud, or see the progress Flores continues to make. However, it seems the media believes the fans will all be unhappy with Flores, and while no one is going to be absolutely ecstatic about the idea, Flores has shown some nice qualities, and will continue to sharpen his skills in Spring Training, and throughout the season, if he is indeed cast as the starter. Again, we'll just have to see how it all goes. There are multiple roads to take, and for some, it will be unclear this year if the correct road is taken.