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April 4, 2014

BP Top 101 Prospects

Surprising Assignments

by Ron Shah

Wilmer Flores, 2B/3B, New York Mets
The Mets would tell you Flores is beginning the year somewhere other than where they expected, and that is because Flores’ opening day assignment was changed at the last minute. The Mets original developmental plan for Flores, 71st on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 list, was to have him work at shortstop in the minor leagues. That plan quickly changed once the team needed an infielder on the major-league roster after placing second baseman Daniel Murphy on the paternity list. Instead of beginning the season in Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s, Flores found himself getting the start at second base for the Mets on Wednesday. It is unclear whether the Mets, who have been rumored to be in search for a shortstop, will keep Flores with the major-league team or send him back to Triple-A to begin working on the conversion to shortstop.

Phillip Ervin, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Perhaps no team is having more success with first round draft picks in recent years than the Reds, and Ervin might very well continue the trend. The no. 27 overall draft pick in the 2013 draft crushed baseballs in the lower levels after signing. He made a brief appearance in the Midwest League, but his presence was felt—at a .349/.451/.465 clip—and he concluded his year with the 63rd spot on the Top 101. While Ervin is surprisingly beginning the season in Low-A, it shouldn’t be long before the 21-year-old joins fellow organizational outfield prospect Jesse Winker in Bakersfield.

Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
After the Astros took Appel with the first pick in the 2013 draft, many believed the organization would not let its newest prized prospect be exposed to the incredibly unfair pitching conditions in Lancaster. That sentiment was even stronger after some television analysts said the Stanford product could pitch in a major-league rotation right now as he was drafted. But after he was touched up a little bit in the lower levels in 2013 and missed some time in the offseason due to an emergency appendectomy, the Astros will take it one level at a time with Appel, who will begin the season in High-A Lancaster.

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Related Content:  Spring Training,  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Isn't it likely that Buxton is simply at High-A to rehab his wrist? Usually Twins players and prospects alike do their rehab down in Florida, since it's warm and the Twins have their facilities down there.

Apr 04, 2014 07:16 AM
rating: 0

I think that's highly likely. But if they're smart, they'll keep him in Fort Myers long enough to ensure he's healthy, while waiting for the weather in New Britain to warm up a bit.

Apr 04, 2014 07:35 AM
rating: 0

Yeah, that's what I think they should and probably will do.

Apr 04, 2014 09:37 AM
rating: 0

I froze through the game in New Britain today. No prospect should ever play in those conditions. The Rock Cats lineup included a number of 27-29 year olds playing in Double-AA. I doubt if there is a Chris Colabello amongst them even though Brandon Waring, big power, big K's hit a pair of rockets.

Apr 04, 2014 19:58 PM
rating: 0

Was surprised to see Clint Frazier beginning in extending spring training - is he really that raw?

Apr 04, 2014 10:15 AM
rating: 1

He has a hamstring injury.

Apr 04, 2014 10:24 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Ron Shah
BP staff

Minor injury. Will be with Lake County soon.

Apr 04, 2014 12:25 PM
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