Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler were selected to represent the Mets at the All-Star Futures game to be held in Kansas City on Sunday, July 9 at 5 pm.
Flores has enjoyed a bounce-back 2012, hitting .289/.336/.463 for St. Lucie, and yesterday earning a promotion to double-A Binghamton. His 10 homeruns are already one off a career-high set in 2010, and his extra-base hit rate is above 8% for the first time since 2010. At the plate, his strikeout rate of 11% is the lowest of his professional career. He has always hit for plenty of contact. However, this year, the Mets have been very pleased by his improved selectivity at the plate as well. It's relatively rare for a prospect to make repeat appearances in the Futures Game, but Flores appeared back in 2009?which is a testament to both how long he has been on the prospect radar, and his improvements in 2012. The Mets moved him off shortstop in 2012, and while he's played third almost the whole year, the team tried him out at second, a position he played relatively extensively in winter ball, for a few games at the end of the first half in St. Lucie. Oh, and he's 20. He's going to play in the big leagues, but his future position and value, two propositions which are very closely tied, are still unclear.
Wheeler has just been very, very good in double-A. He's third in ERA (1.88), strikeouts (73) and WHIP (1.00), first in opponents' batting average (.176) and second in strikeout rate for starters (9.17). The fastball and slider look like plus pitches, while his curve and changeup are coming along. His command is still rough around the edges and his walk rate of 3.64 BB/9 is about the only thing keeping him from triple-A at this point. His delivery is more fluid since his Giants' days, producing better pitchers and a happier pitcher.