Flores Working Hard

Wilmer Flores is off to a good start

SAVANNAH, GA - Expectations will follow the young shortstop no matter what he does this season, but in his short career, Wilmer Flores has shown that he expects just as much out of himself. Now the youngest player in the South Atlantic League seeks improvement through continued hard work.

At just 17 years old, Wilmer Flores, the number two prospect in the organization, is producing well for the Savannah Sand Gnats and putting up good numbers at the plate in only his second year in the system.

The 6'3, 175 pound shortstop is following up his impressive season with Kingsport and Brooklyn in 2008 by hitting .340 through 12 games with the Sand Gnats, the third best average on the team.

Flores posted a .310 average with 8 home runs and 41 RBI in 59 games for Kingsport last season before finishing the year playing eight games with short season Brooklyn and one game with Savannah.

"Offensively, I want to work more on being and RBI guy this season and focus on hitting more doubles," said Flores through coach Jose Carreno who translated.

He believes that his young age isn't a factor, but as he starts his first year with a long season team, enduring the full season will take a toll on him, both physically and mentally.

"I know the long season will be tough but I think the challenge will be more mentally challenging than physically tough. I just have to prepare myself and remain strong mentally because I know as the season progresses it will be tough playing 140 games," said Flores.

Savannah manger Edgar Alfonzo believes that the long season will be beneficial for his young shortstop.

"I don't think [Flores'] young age is a factor at all. If you have good tools and the proper mentality to play this game you can have success at a young age," Alfonzo said.

"Being so young, I don't think he realizes how long the season will actually feel, but I think he will figure it out and I need to do my part and rest him when I need to. He just needs to remain strong mentally and as long as he does that, this long season will benefit him as a player," the Savannah skipper continued.

Defensively, the young shortstop is finding his groove, committing no errors so far this season. However, there are still some things he would like to work on this year.

"I would like to work on quickness and initial reaction to the ball, along with my agility in the field. The more games I play, I will learn about the different pitchers and improve my defensive ability," Flores explained.

His strong, accurate arm in the field coupled by his power and ability to hit the tough pitches makes Flores a valuable young prospect for the Mets. His ceiling remains high and future looks bright as the one of the youngest prospects currently playing full season ball.

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