Prospect Profile: Ramon Flores

2014 Stats: 

Level: R-/AAA

.254/.343/.472   12% BB%   17% K%   .218 ISO   .282 BABIP   3/5 SB%   -2 DEF

Flores ranked #15 on my Yankees top 100 list.

Background:

We’ve been hearing about Ramon Flores for some time now. Originally signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old back in 2008, Flores has slowly crept through the Yankees minor league ranks. From age-17 to age-20, Flores hit an impressive .277/.358/.394 in the low-minors despite always being young for his level. However, he seemed to stall out upon reaching Double-A in 2013. In 136 games with Double-A Trenton, he only managed a .260/.353/.363 performance.

What he did in 2014:

Flores moved up to Triple-A Scranton in 2014, where he seemingly took a step forward at the plate. He turned in a .261/.352/.447 performance before breaking his ankle on June 1st. Hitting for power had always been the biggest piece missing from Flores’ offensive game, so Flores’ five homers were most exciting.

Once his ankle healed up, Flores returned to action in August, but had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. He hit just .167/.268/.418 over 10 games following the injury, and didn’t receive a September call up despite already having a spot on the team’s 40-man roster.

What Kiley says:

Flores is one of those players that reached his upside quickly, but doesn’t have much more to offer than as a solid part-time player. He has solid bat speed, great plate discipline and feel to hit with good plate coverage, but average at best power that limits the damage he can do.  Flores is a heady player with average speed and arm strength that can play all three outfield positions and should be able to contribute to the Yankees at some point in 2015 as the prototypical 4th outfielder that could hit his way into being a low-end regular for a few years.

What KATOH says:

KATOH really likes Flores. It pegs him for 7.9 WAR through age-28, which is the the 20th highest projection of all current prospects. However, keep in mind that there are some things that KATOH doesn’t know about Flores. As Kiley pointed out in his write up, Flores’ raw power is ultra-pretty fringy, which really cuts into his offensive upside. Even after accounting for these caveats, Flores’s rosy forecast should still give us reason for optimism. Here’s a look at Flores’s odds of reaching certain WAR thresholds through age 28:

Flores

Future Outlook:

Flores has put up encouraging numbers in his six years in the minors, but his small size — he’s listed at 5-10 — and lack-luster tools give him a relatively low ceiling. Even if you somewhat buy his 2014 power numbers, he still lacks the pop to be a real offensive threat, and isn’t fast enough to be anything more than passable in centerfield. That being said, Flores certainly has some things going for him. He has excellent control of the strike zone — as evidenced by his 45:33 K:BB ratio, and runs well enough to provide some defensive value in an outfield corner. With that profile, it’s easy to envision him developing into a useful fourth outfielder, along the lines of a Robbie Grossman or Gregor Blanco.

About Chris

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, and is an occasional user of the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell
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