Standing 6′ 4″, Pitcher Wilmer Flores has been quite a free agent signing for the Detroit Tigers. Flores, who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, has a good arsenal and looks to be on a quick patch to Detroit. New Detroit Tigers team president Scott Harris has said his vision for the organization’s hitters and pitchers is to own the strike zone. While Flores has some control issues, he is sometimes viewed as a long-term solution to the Tigers’ rebuild.
Wilmer Flores has good stuff, 60 graded fastball that tops out at 98 MPH, 60 graded curveball that is an eleven to five curve and drops down to the low 80’s, 45 graded changeup with an overall 55 grade. It is difficult to see a pitcher with two plus pitches make an impact. The Tigers are asking Flores to work on his changeup, and he is flirting with a slider.
Last season Flores pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps, where he posted a 1-0 record in six games. In 19.2 innings pitched, the young righty struck out 35 batters. He was moved to Double-A and the Erie Seawolves, where he was 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA. In 83.2 innings pitched, Wilmer Flores struck out 93 batters while walking 21.
Again, as an undrafted player, Flores has shown he has the makeup to be an MLB starting pitcher if he can transform his changeup or perfect a slider. While Flores may begin the season in Erie, PA again, once he has shown enough growth, he will be moved to Triple-A with the Toledo Mud Hens.
Last season Wilmer Flores was named the Detroit Tigers Minor League Player Of The Year. It is not entirely out of the question Flores is called up to Detroit this coming season for a look. In recent years the Tigers have had low draft picks like Tarik Skubal blossom. The organization may have caught lightning in a bottle in Flores, who looks like he is on the same trajectory as Skubal.
Should Flores polish the changeup and or slider, he screams starting rotation. If he can not, he will be a much-needed bullpen arm. Flores is said to be very coachable and listens when being instructed. This is good news, as he is more inclined to improve secondary pitches.
As spring training is underway, it is worth keeping tabs on Wilmer Flores. Where he goes once camp breaks and how his starts go, it is early, but the Tigers may have turned up a real gem in an undrafted player.