High-A: Boston Red Sox infield prospect Antoni Flores
The Red Sox have a lot of exciting shortstops and infielders in general. So why should you keep an eye on someone slashing .219/.377/.271? Flores has hit just two doubles and one home run in 96 at-bats. He’s driven in seven runs and scored 14 more. It’s not even like he’s a major threat on the base paths, with zero steals on the year. So what is it?
A few things actually. First off, Flores hasn’t exactly gotten steady playing time this season. 96 at-bats will tell you that much. Second, he is still just 21 so it’s not like he’s faltering out. Third, the right-handed hitter has a really good eye (22 walks already despite low playing time). That .377 OBP would be nice even if he had a good average.
Finally, the glove. Flores is one of the best natural defensive players in the system. It’s already MLB-ready. Smooth footwork, gets the glove down, quick transfers, strong and accurate arm, good range, it’s all there. And while he came in as a shortstop, we’ve seen that Flores can play both second base and third base.
The only issue so far has been the hitting. But it’s also something that in short spurts he’s shown he can do at a decently-high level.
Flores has already shown an ability to get on-base. And his hitting has shown flashes. If he can start to hit a little better in the second half, he has the glove to move up in the system decently fast.
It’s also important to remember that Flores hasn’t really gotten much consistency. He only has 96 at-bats this season. He’s never had more than 181 in a season in the four years he’s played. It’s a combination of injuries and splitting time. But that causes issues. It makes it harder for a player to get in a groove when he’s lucky to be playing two-three times a week.
Now consider the fact that he’s moving around to different positions and still looking great at them as well.
Flores was once considered a pretty high prospect in the system. His bat has led to him falling down those rankings a bit. There’s still a lot to love though. An MLB-ready glove in High-A is enough to get excited about.
So if that bat wakes up in the second-half, Antoni Flores could shoot back up the Red Sox rankings.