Kendry Flores | RHP, 22 yo, 6-2, 175 | IFA 2008 DR | (A) 22 GS, 141.2 IP, 2.73 ERA, 7.2 H/9, 1.1 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
Guys like Flores are the reason I look at the Giants system right now and wonder if they don’t have some of the most pitching depth of any organization in baseball. I’ll admit that I probably could have given him a bump into the top 10, but I am just too high on Keury Mella’s upside right now. Flores, however, really made a name for himself in the season’s second half, and impressed Baseball Pro’s Jason Parks enough for Parks to give him the #4 spot on his Giants top 10.
Flores signed with the organization at age 17, but 2013 was his first shot at full-season ball. He’s really a guy that had flown under the radar for the past few years, earning unimpressive scouting reviews while posting respectable peripheral numbers in various levels of short-season ball. He was solid for Augusta in the first half (11 starts), but really cranked his game up a notch in the second half, logging a 2.60 ERA and a ridiculous 79k/4bb rate over his final 11 starts (72 IP). David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle reported Flores’ velocity solidly in the low-90’s and touching 95 at times. Those reports are quite an improvement over previous reviews that had him sitting high-80’s with his fastball. His dominant second half numbers really do seem to correlate with an increased velocity, and would really excite the front office if true.
Since he had been in the organization for so long, the Giants were forced to protect Flores from the Rule 5 draft with a 40-man spot this winter. They did the same with Edwin Escobar before last season, and I think it’s safe to say they would love to see Flores make an Escobar-type ascent in 2014. It remains to be seen whether Flores will hang at the higher levels, but he’s headed to MLB camp this spring. The Giants will get a great opportunity to evaluate him. Don’t be surprised if he gets the bump to AA Richmond at some point this year, and maybe even as early as Opening Day. At this point, Flores should be considered a very serious prospect in the organization, and a great example of the pitching depth within this system.
They said it: “I can’t make the claim that Flores made the biggest strides of any player in the Giants system…but he has to be near the top of the list. He definitely made the most strides of any GreenJackets player…Flores had plus command/control all season, and that was the No. 1 reason for his success… If his changeup continues to develop and his curveball is right behind, Flores can find success in the upper levels and reach a 4-5 ceiling.” ~ David Lee