Wilmer Flores always seems to be without a regular job on Opening Day, but he always works his way into the lineup. It helps he plays all four infield positions, qualifying at each by June 10 last season, and mashes lefties. He'll enter 2017 only eligible at the corners and Flores has to contend with Jose Reyes for playing time, but keep in mind that all four of the Mets' projected infield starters have injury concerns. His skills are mixed-league worthy. Flores gets consistent loft on the ball -- his 45.0 percent flyball rate would have ranked 13th among qualifiers -- while maintaining a good contact rate, though all the flyballs have kept his BABIP down (ranging from .264 to .273 in his four seasons). Flores underwent surgery in October to remove part of the hamate bone in his wrist, but he is expected to be ready for spring training.
Flores got the start at third base in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals, going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and six RBI, four of which came on a grand slam off Adam Wainwright. The Mets crossed the plate 14 times in the first three innings against Wainwright and top Cards prospect Luke Weaver, and Flores took full advantage of their struggles. He's ticketed for a bench role this season, but the Mets will look to get the 25-year-old into the lineup as often as possible against left-handed pitching, and in fantasy leagues with more liberal rules for qualifying at different positions, Flores could again wind up with eligibility at all four infield spots.
Flores got the start at first base during Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, going 1-for-3 with a solo home run. He could see more action at first base than anticipated early in the season, given Lucas Duda's ongoing back issues, but Flores still figures to serve mainly as a platoon option off the bench this season for the Mets. His power and multiple paths to playing time still make him a viable roster option in deep NL-only formats, however.
Flores, who underwent minor minor wrist surgery in October, started at first base in the Mets' Grape League opener. Flores appears to be fully recovered after having part of the hamate bone in his right wrist surgically removed this past October. In his first slate of action, the 25-year-old infielder went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts. With a strong spring training, Flores could be in line a for a utility role off the bench for the Mets this season.
Flores will make $2.2 million in 2017 after winning his arbitration case, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports. Flores returns to the Mets following a relatively strong 2016 campaign in which he slashed .267/.319/.469 with 16 home runs in 358 at-bats. While he won't be an everyday player for the Mets, he figures to see plenty of playing time at second base, particularly against left-handed pitching. He hit .340 with 11 of his home runs against southpaws in 2016.
Flores successfully underwent surgery Friday to remove part of the hamate bone in his right wrist, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. Thankfully for Flores, he's expected to be ready to go far before the start of spring training, so unless his rehabilitation hits some roadblocks, he should be ready to go for 2017. The 25-year-old will likely continue his role as a super utility sub next season.