Scouts and fans alike, to often, get caught up looking for that 5-tool player that stand over 6 foot, that players like Jorge Flores get over looked. Flores is a 5’5″ infielder, gap hitter, solid defender, whose stats don’t jump off the sheet. For context, Jose Altuve is listed at 5’6″ and Marcus Stroman is listed at 5’9″, so you can imagine that Flore’s stature isn’t going to make scouts salivate. I could hear the condescending tone of baseball announcers when talking about Jorge’s size…..it’s a joke that size limits a players projectability (is that a word???) and that players are often over looked because they don’t fit the prototypical model.
As a sophomore at Central Arizona College , Flores hit .286, .387 OPB, with 55 hits, 11 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 24 RBI, and 27 SB. He demonstrated a unique ability of getting on base as the 34 runs he scored can attest. Flores has never let his size be an excuse for underachieving and has always been known as a ‘Grinder’, a hard worker, and a team first guy. During his college years he earned his fair share of awards.
Region 1 Tournament MVP
NJCAA World Series All Tournament Team
NJCAA World Series Rawling Big Stick
NJCAA All-Region 1
Flores was taken by the Blue Jays in the 19th round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. The same year as Marcus Stroman, who is the first of the class to make it to the Major Leagues. Since starting his minor league career with the Vancouver Canadians, Flores has steadily progressed up the organizational ladder, never spending more than a year at any level. In 2014, Flores reached Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he appeared in 64 games….oh and he didn’t look out of place.
"“Everybody thinks that height matters but personally, I don’t think it does … I think all that matters is how hard you play and work on your game.”"
Remember what I said about Jorge’s stats not jumping off the sheet, I neglected to point out that skew from the norm as well. With the Fisher Cats, Flores produced a great 12.2 K% but a dreadful 5.0 BB%, which seems to be his trademark thus far.. He produced a slightly above average BABIP of .337, which was on the high side for his career. He wasn’t able to generate much power in 2014, as he was only able to produce a 0.049 ISO…..he didn’t hit a single home run but more alarming was that his extra base power dried up. In 96 games, he hit 14 doubles and one triple.
Despite his low ISO, Jorge was able to produce a 0.314 wOBA with the Fisher Cats, which is about average for 2014 shortstops. Unfortunately, Jorges doesn’t have great base stealing abilities, which produced below average wSB of -1.1.
Jorge showed a clutch bat with 2 out and RISP, as he hit .294/.345/.392, 3 doubles, a triple and 10 RBI. He hit RHP (.311) slightly better than LHP (.268), but showed a much better approach versus RHP than LHP. Jorge walked 17 and struck out 24 times versus RHP, compared to only walking twice and striking out 13 times in less half the at bats.
Jorge Flores showed great consistency in 2014, despite his low power numbers. August was by far his best month, with July being his worse. Jorge was promoted at the end of May and it took him a could months to fully adjust. Looking at his August numbers it is clear to see that he made the necessary adjustments, batting 72 points higher in August than in July.
Flores may have produced his best results in 2014 despite playing against competition almost three years older.
In his first 2 seasons Jorge Flores has been splitting his time between SS and 2nd base, but feels he is better suited for SS,
"“Shortstop is where I’m most comfortable but I’m decent at second, too. Anywhere the coaches want me to play I’m going to play,” he said. “I feel my defense improved throughout the 2013 season, but I’m always trying to get better at it for sure.”"
Although a guy that knows a thing or two about former Vancouver Canadians, Charlie Caskey, has some concerns about his arm and the competition he will receive from the Jays ‘tier one’ shortstops. Charlie also predicted a move to 2nd and that could be happening in 2015. Either way, Flores is expected to return to New Hampshire to start the year, but don’t be surprised to see him advance to Buffalo before too long. With a little luck and lots of hustle, this big talent in a little package will find his way into the hearts of Blue Jay fans.