Prospect Profile: Ramon Flores

While Flores looked over matched in the GCL in 2009, he returned in 2010 looking like a different player.  He hit .329/.436/.481 in 43 games, earning a promotion to Charleston, along with GCL Post-Season All-Star honors.  In the GCL, Flores had a wRC+ of 171 and wOBA of .433.  He spent fourteen games with the RiverDogs, putting up some respectable numbers before spending eight games with the Tampa Yankees.

In 2011, it was back to Charleston for Flores who continued to improve his hitting consistency.  He looked to be adding a big of power and started to show off some surprising speed, swiping thirteen bags and getting caught only twice.  Flores has been a solid defender since the beginning, spreading 27 errors across four seasons and 333 professional games.

This season, Flores looks like he may be coming into his own.  After hitting an abysmal .207/.276/.230 in April, the youngster has his numbers up to .302/.367/.408 with five homers, nineteen doubles, a triple and 24 RBIs. He has his wRC+ up to 116, along with a wOBA of .350.  He’s stolen eleven bases, getting caught four times.  Power continues to be a bit elusive from his game, but he did just turn 20 just prior to Opening Day.

Flores’ swing has been praised as pretty polished, especially for a kid his age.  He has great bat speed and a consistent swing that should help him hit for average.  Flores has a good eye for the strike zone and uses the whole field.  He tends to line the ball into the gaps, and he appears to be gaining some power, though it is unlikely he will ever be much of a home run threat.  Baseball America refers to him as one of the Yankees’ system’s best pure hitters, and points out that he does not appear to have trouble hitting against southpaws.  Flores may not be the fastest runner, he has some quickness and very good base running skills.  He could stand to get more aggressive with his running, but he does not seem to make the mistakes you often see for a guy his age.

While his natural hitting ability may be what sets Flores apart, he has strong defensive potential as well.  He projects to be a solid left fielder, with good range and a strong arm.  If he can keep doing what he has done in Tampa over the last couple months, Flores could see himself promoted by the end of the season.  While he is still at least a couple years away from the Majors, Flores has garnered some interesting comparisons by scouts.  I have seen him compared to Bobby Abreu with better defense and Luis Gonzalez.

About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

4 thoughts on “Prospect Profile: Ramon Flores

  1. Sounds good – (I know you don't have a crystal ball – but -) any chance he could be ready in time to play left, after Gardner moves to center and Grandy moves to greener pastures?

    While having a bomber is nice, it would be cool to have someone who can hit for average and get on base again. As well as play defense and run the bases.

    • Hard to say. I don't think you'll see him up before 2014 at the absolute earliest – and that's assuming he can hack it in Double-A and Triple-A without a problem – which is where you start to really see problems for a lot of good prospects. The Yankees have been awfully cautious with their younger guys, so it'll be interesting to see how they use him.

      • Just wondering…seeing the killer kids at the All-Star game that other teams have, I just thought it would be pretty cool if the Yankees had someone like that…

        Eventually, one would have to think that having a team made up of fielders over 30 would catch up with them…

        • No kidding. I think the Yankees have a few possibilities, but it's going to be a couple years – and of course, they'll have to hold onto them.