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Prospect Notes: Wilmer Flores, C.J. Cron

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Wilmer Flores
Wilmer Flores
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

***New York Mets third base prospect Wilmer Flores had a breakout season in 2012, hitting .289/.336/.463 in 64 games for High-A St. Lucie, then maintaining his momentum in the second half with a .311/.361/.494 line in 66 games for Double-A Binghamton.

The Mets ended up with their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas for 2013. Las Vegas is an outstanding hitting environment and the Pacific Coast League in general is excellent for offense, so I was very interested to see how Flores would perform in '13. Through 23 games he is hitting .273/.323/.398, which includes a .300/.327/.480 mark at home but just .237/.319/.289 on the road. He also has a sharp platoon split: .321/.375/.500 against lefties, just .250/.299/.350 against right-handers.

Yes, the "early in the season/small sample size" caveat applies of course. I note that Flores has maintained a strong BB/K ratio with eight walks and eight strikeouts in 88 at-bats, so he's had no problems making contact at least. He is also working to adapt to full-time play at second base, having split '12 between third and second. If he continues to make contact and control the zone reasonably well, I expect his hitting will pick up as the summer progresses. Flores is still only 21 years old.

***Los Angeles Angels first base prospect C.J. Cron is murdering left-handers in Double-A, hitting .444 with an .883 SLG thus far, admittedly over just 18 at-bats. Right-handers have kept him under better control with a .271/.320/.329 line and two walks, 17 strikeouts in 70 at-bats. Overall he's hitting .307/.344/.432 through 23 games in the Texas League for the Arkansas Travelers.

Cron hit .293 with 27 homers and 123 RBI in the California League last season, but a weak 17/72 BB/K ratio in 525 at-bats. His power is undoubted but his approach is very aggressive, and it was an open question on how the former first round pick would adapt to higher-level pitching. So far he's doing most of his damage against lefties.

Just to put things in perspective, Cron is a full 18 months older than Flores.