Wilmer 'sure' he can play shortstop

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
11:20
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Wilmer Flores has not played shortstop in the Mets organization since 2011, when a lack of first-step quickness prompted the organization to shift him to other infield spots.

But Terry Collins has suggested he will revisit at least dabbling with Flores at shortstop during spring training. And Flores, who arrived in camp Tuesday after traveling from a Michigan fitness and agility camp, is open to doing so.


Adam RubinWilmer Flores speaks at Mets camp Tuesday.


"Sure. I played there for four years," the 22-year-old Flores said. "It's not going to be a new position. I'm sure I can play."

Flores made his major league debut Aug. 6. He ultimately hit .211 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 95 at-bats.

"It was a great experience," Flores said. "I learned a lot. It was the year that I learned the most, especially mentally. This game is 80 percent mental."

Still, Flores could not perform at peak level. He dealt with a pair of cranky ankles that affected him in the field as well as at the plate, where he tended to swing while relying too much on his arms as opposed to his legs. Collins even backed off using Flores at second base because of the ankle issues.

He had hit .321 with 15 homers and 86 RBIs in 424 at-bats with Triple-A Las Vegas before the promotion.

"My body feels great. My legs feel great, especially my ankles -- 100 percent," Flores said Tuesday.

"We did a lot of ankle exercises," he added, referring to his offseason work at the Plymouth, Mich., fitness camp. "We worked on things that we needed to work on, like speed, agility and getting stronger. I'd be happy to go again."

Flores spent late October, November and January in Michigan. He managed to squeeze in 88 winter-ball at-bats with Margarita in his native Venezuela, from Nov. 27 through Dec. 29.

As for how his ankles hindered him last season, Flores said: "It was tough. First year in the big leagues, you want to be out there playing and giving 100 percent. But I just couldn't. When I had my chance, I did my best. I did what I could."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
Follow Adam on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.295 9 55 76
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .832
WB. Colon 14
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180