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In a Winter League Chat today at Baseball America, Chris Kline was asked about Wilmer Flores, a 16-year old shortstop that the Mets signed out of Venezuela this summer.

Kline wrote:

"The tools are for real. Sounded like some scouts questioned the bat a little bit, but profiles to be a plus defender that will hit for some power down the road... Flores is a guy who could move quickly--I wouldn't drop the 'project' tag on him, though he is obviously raw in terms of learning the game in the States and facing advanced pitching.
...it'll be interesting to see if the Mets put him on the fast track... they have done so recently with some of their latin big buys, to mixed results... while Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerra have held their own, Francisco Pena struggled immensely as a 17-year old in low a savannah this year, and Jose Coronado has yet to impress, hitting .212 as a 21-year old in binghamton...

...the Mets made 14 international amateur free-agent signings this summer, which was most in the league...it seems that, along with a decent group of imports making their debuts this year, we are starting to see the fruit of omar's labor, trying to put more and more emphasis on caribbean scouting and development...

...while flores is venezuela, 10 of the 14 players the Mets signed come from the dominican, where they have an academy and omar has deep roots... meanwhile, they went truly international in signing Marinus Vernooij, a third baseman out of the netherlands...

Tags: Minors
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