Monday, January 28, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects #39: Kendry Flores

Kendry Flores, RHP.  DOB:  11/24/1991.  6'2", 175 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

Short Season:  1-3, 4.46, 42.1 IP, 11 BB, 34 K's.

Kendry Flores has been inching his way through the Giants farm system since 2009 when he was  signed as a 17 y.o out of he D.R.  He has put up consistently good K/BB, but his ERA has not been as impressive.  One interesting trend is a steadily decreasing GO/AO from 1.89 in 2009 to 1.23 to 0.90 to 0.70 in 2012.  So, he's morphed from a fairly extreme groundball pitcher to fairly extreme flyball pitcher.  Most analysts would say that is a negative, but the Giants have been confounding analysts for years with their flyball tendencies.  No recent scouting reports on what kind of stuff he throws.  A logical destination for 2013 would be the rotation in Augusta for his age 21 season.


  1. Let me start by saying once again how much I am enjoying this blog, especially reading about kids who are less well known.

    Your write up of Flores is rather shall we say "uninspiring". Knowing that the ranking down here is not all that relevant, what is the reason to rank him ahead of someone closer to the majors such as Surkamp, or someone with electrifying stuff such as Marlowe? Was there something in there that intrigue you?

    1. I think mainly his age vs level. Even though he has not exactly fast-tracked through the system, he is still just entering his age 21 season. I like the K/BB and low walk rates too. Negatives would be the mediocre K/9 and the transition from groundball to flyball tendencies.

    2. Surkamp is coming up. He's another hard one to rank. I probably put him too low. It was mainly due to uncertainty over how well he will rebound from TJ surgery. As I have said in other places, injuries at critical moments in a career can be more of a negative than at other times. For a guy who was maybe a marginal prospect anyway, losing a full year to TJ when you were just getting your chance in the majors can be a huge setback.

  2. Thought I would mention this site I just ran into:

    Nothing earth shaking but interesting I thought, for the analysis. Pairs nicely with that recent article on BABIP being very important for low level pitchers because at that point, the pitchers who are capable of preventing hits at the level of major leaguers are not separated yet from the pitchers who cannot prevent hits that well.

    There are two key areas where Flores has done well. First is his K/BB ratio, 3.1 is very good, and he was only 20 YO in a league where most players are older. In addition, his walk rate is low, 2.3 BB/9 is very good. However, his K/9 is not that great, only 7.2, so that's one good reason why he's down so far as a prospect. It will be interesting to see how he does in his first full season league, if he does get assigned to Augusta.

    1. Pretty much agree with this. See my comment to Anon above.

  3. John Sickels puts the Gigantes as the #17 spot, a much more reasonable take that BA's #28. Pitching at the forefront, with a nod that he doesn't necessarily buy into the Brown/Panik/Peggs and the rest of the bats. I think that's pretty fair, I'd put our pitching flirting with top ten and the hitting around 20. The simple fact is that the whole system underperformed last year. New year, lets see what happens. Gotta be patient with prospects. Reaped the benefit of unprecedented success, and there are only so many spots to fill. That's the part I don't see much mention of: there are young players at most the 25. So its going to slow down, which will provide more depth across the system. Good system, sleeper system. Winning system.

    1. Ha! I went over and read that post the scrolled through the comments. I would say that it appears Roger The Curmudgeon has become aware of his reputation and is trying hard to change it. He started off strong, but then reverted back to his curmudgeon shtick before the whole thread collapsed into a steaming pile of the usual MCC sophomoric jokes.

    2. Couldn't help myself, I had to throw something down in the BA Top 30 post. Grant had to bring up Zach Wheeler. Of course he did. Flags fly forever. I'm very happy Sabean is running things and not the Giants blogosphere. I guess its time to find that lunatic fringe card and tear it up.

      I said a while back that you and OGC shouldn't appoint yourselves chief Sabean defenders. Well, a little while ago I said that is a perfectly reasonable position. I'd like to just emphasize that real quick. Very reasonable position. Live and learn. Some people just won't ever be happy.

    3. I know this is back to beating a dead horse here, but as I've said many times, Brian Sabean isn't perfect. He's made his share of mistakes. But, nobody is perfect. How many GM's in the history of baseball have produced 2 WS winners within 3 years? Not....very....many!

      Do I wish the Giants still had Zack Wheeler? You bet I do! I have said many times that if the Mets were willing to take either Brown or Wheeler(which we do not know, for sure), then the Giants gave up the wrong guy. But, do I begrudge that trade? No I don't, because if you understand the context, Sabean had to go for it. Defending WS champs, first place in the NL West, a collapsing offense, best available hitter? Yeah, he had to go for it. And don't think for a minute that the very same people that keep harping on losing Wheeler wouldn't be dogging Sabes for prematurely throwing in the towel had he failed to make the trade.

      Even if you make the right trade, it is so crazy hard to win a World Series that chances are you are still going to come up short. That does not mean you shouldn't try. Sabes made a similar trade in 2012 when the outcome of the division race was no more certain than in 2011. Hunter Pence may not have been quite what a lot of fans, including me expected, but does anyone seriously think the Giants win the World Series without him? I don't think anyone is begrudging the loss of Tommy Joseph now!

      One more thought on this subject: At the time of the Wheeler/Beltran trade, Sabes stood up and said he knew full well what he was giving up in Wheeler. He said Tidrow had told him the Giants had enough pitching in the system to allow the trade. He went on to say it was his and Tidrow's job to find the next Zack Wheeler. Well, you know what? Kyle Crick may not be exactly Zack Wheeler, but he's close enough for me. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked at all if Crick eventually turns out to be the better of the two. Not only that, but the Giants now have a whole stable of pitching prospects who are probably as good as any organization's out there. Sabes made good on his vow and then some! Gotta respect that!

    4. Some trades work some don't. if you will criticize him for Wheeler, you have to praise him for Scutaro for Culberson trade, too.
      Scutaro was a smart trade, but it surpassed all expectations.
      Beltran was a smart trade, too. But it did not yield anything.
      Oh well, you win some you lose some. The bootme line is 2WS in 3 years.

    5. Scutaro was a smart trade.

      Pence, a good trade.

      Beltran - a bad trade. Short term - you win with Posey, Panda and Pence (in 2012, or Beltran in 2011), but not enough with just Panda + Beltran. Panda + Beltran is like Panda + Posey. And with Panda + Posey, everyone would scream to add one more bat (which we did - we got Pence). So, why add a bat in order to hear people scream that we need one more bad after that? Long term, 2 or 3 month rental is not a good idea.

      You win some and you lose some - that I agree with.

      No one is perfect - I agree there too.

      Sabean is better than most GMs - that too.

      He's under rated - no argument.

    6. As Shankbone likes to remind us: flags fly forever. And they do! :^)

      So long term, if you have a good chance for the title - and we did, we were in the lead and trying to hold it - a 2-3 month rental can be a good idea, as long as losing the player does not cripple your future. Losing Wheeler did not cripple our future, it merely delayed it, as they had Crick (and now Blackburn) in their back pocket, plus added Stratton. Might not be quite Wheeler level, but close enough (and as DrB noted, maybe Crick can surpass), whereas I don't think anyone at Brown's level has been available. I still believe we need Brown more than Wheeler going forward.

      The only thing bad is relying on a player not known to be reliable in the past, as Beltran was. But that is what many Giants fans forget: oftentimes, the player Sabean picks up is not what he ideally wants, but what the market is offering for the prospects that he is willing to trade. Given that he's kept Cain, Lincecum, Dirty (for most of his value), Bumgarner, Posey, Sandoval, Belt, Crawford, Wilson (for most of his value), Romo, and has not given up much prospect value in the past 10 years or so, I would say that he has made the right choices. Maybe Hillenbrand, Tejada, and O-Cab were not the solutions: that ignores the point that they were the best available at that moment for what the Giants were willing to trade/sign. Even Benitez. For while Benitez ultimately was a big mistake, he was the best available at the time, and we clearly needed a closer. Sometimes moves don't work.

      The key, as Shankbone has been saying a lot lately, is that Sabean seems to learn from his mistakes, tries to avoid repeating them. For example, long contracts is only going to internal players who they have checked out under the hood and like what they see/found. Outside free agents have not been getting those deals. The mistakes of the past - Benitez, Alfonzo, Rowand, etc (though Zito is Petey's mistake) - have informed his current M.O.

      I've never viewed myself as Sabean's defender. I've always viewed myself as the Giants defender. Slim nuance, but that's the way I roll.

      I have wanted the Giants to win for over 40 years. Not that others don't, but that's where I'm coming from. I liked what Sabean was putting together in the late Aughts,and as I ran into more data and studies, really loved what he was doing. The more I learned, the more I loved. So as I phrased it in all the MCC threads on Sabean extensions: I'm happy with what Sabean is doing, but he needs to continue it, and two years is long enough rope to see what he can do with what he has built. If he can't do it, then we move on.

      But as 2 World Championships in 3 seasons can attest: yes, he can do a lot with what he has built and deserves to continue to man the ship. As long as Sabean steers the Giants in the right direction (and I now avoid the term "win" because eventually this dynasty will end and the rebuild must happen) and continue the trend he has started (I think ownership is the gating factor, not Sabean, however), I'll be a Sabean defender because he has the Giants on the right track. When the Giants are not on the right track, in my opinion, then I won't be a Sabean supporter.

      But yeah, some people will never be happy. I admit I'm mostly a positive person, as some accuse me of, but I'm aware of that and, in any case, it is my nature to look at every angle, so I'm also aware of the downsides of most things as well. But I know now that I can't "save" them. Hey, 2 championships in 3 years, if after that you still complain vociferously about the guy who brought you that, and call him a "more on", well, I just think that's just crazy, and I don't think that you can change crazy people, my optimism has limits.

    7. I think in 2010, we had Posey + Panda and Burrell for the final push.

      In in 2012, we had Posey + Panda and needed and got Pence to seal the deal.

      With Posey out, we needed 2 bats to go with Panda.

      Maybe some people are not happy with 2 championships out of 3 years, but I am. And I am mostly a positive person. But not happy we did not win in 2011. But such is life - no flag to fly even after that trade, but flags to fly for 2010 and 2012. As they say, c'est la vie. So, you can be mostly positive and yet still not happy sometimes. I think most people are like that. We have to give people credit and not think they can't ever be positive. If you look hard enough, you will find the positive side in almost everyone. I would imagine it's our own limitation that we can not see positives in other people.

      It was only afterwards we learned the players talked of disrupted chemistry.

      So, one can say, looking back, maybe we tried to go for it, to have another flag to fly forever, with one more bat to go with Panda, instead of 2 more bats.

      That's debatable.

      Assuming one bat was enough (to replace Posey), assuming that's the strategy to pursue, it appeared, again, in hindsight, the execution was poor, as the players talked of, there is that unquantifiable (in terms of stats) word again, 'chemistry.'

      As it happened, there is an example we could look to to hope that perhaps Sabean does indeed learns from his mistakes, or could learn from his mistakes. And that was the Scutaro trade. This is the lesson - you never know who will make the big, or a big, difference when you make a trade to get into the playoffs. Who knew ahead of the extent of Scutaro's impact? In fact, looking back, there have been many 'fringe' or a better word 'overlooked' trades/pickups such as Javier, Burrell, Ross, and further back, Eyre, etc.

      To learn that lesson - that it's not always about big name, marquee, players - you have to learn from your mistakes and know that they were mistakes.

      So, let's hope, as Shankbone says, Sabean can, will and does learn from his mistakes.

      Here, a very good GM, one of the best in baseball and in Giants history. He gave us 2 flags in the last 3 years. But no flag to fly in 2010. We enjoy it and also are humble to know how rare and difficult it was to achieve, and also humble to know, as good as Sabean is, he is not perfect and we don't place the unwanted, unnecessary burden of perfection on any person, much less one of our own who has done so much.

    8. BLSL, I used to believe that people can be positive. But the crowd at MCC has changed my mind. As a commenter on my blog noted, they villified me for my stand, and as I noted, their leader recently made fun of Sabean in a post title "More on Sabean", on the play of word sounds and everyone loved that. Most of everything I've said would happen has, yet he came on my blog, told me I was right just this once, and he openly invited DrB to rejoin MCC on my blog while clearly letting me know that I'm persona non grata.

      And I'm inherently a positive person too. I used to tell friends that I didn't hate many people, just Hitler and such. Not that I hate these people, but they have worn me down about them being positive people. I believe in the Christmas sentiment of good will towards men (and women too, natch) and all that, and still wish well to all (all except people like Hitler or other mass murderers). I just don't believe anything will change their worldview: if two championships out of three does not convince them, then what will?

      I've been telling them that better times were coming since around Lincecum breaking out, that we had a good base with good prospects coming up and in, and I would just get totally beat up in their threads. I was villified. And I worn myself to a frazzle, as I would try to answer each and every comment, but there were many of them and only one of me, and then there would be newbies who repeat the same negative line. That is what led me to create my business plan set of posts, so that I could just point to one of my chapters in there, instead of writing the exact same concept in a different way again. And from my infrequent reading and commenting on the site, I see THEIR hate bubble up in their comments to me, so I stay away, for my own mental health. Nobody likes being at a place where other people don't like you.

      About Scutaro, obviously that worked great for us, but why him and not O-Cab, a similar trade that was derided in 2011? His contact rate was still good when we got him, but apparently his bat was done. Scutaro looked just as done. Good contact but in the best offensive park in the majors, he was having a meltdown year. Somehow joining the Giants changed all that for him, at least for 2-3 shining months. What are the lessons learned from these two cases?

  4. Question do you know what happen to Craig Clark?

    1. I do not know what happened to Craig Clark. I seem to remember him going on the DL and never really coming back. I'll try to dig something up. Anybody else out there have some info?

    2. Craig Clark was released by the Giants in April 2012. He apparently hooked on with New Jersey in the Can Am indy league. There is a transaction record of him being activated from the DL on Sept 3, 2012 then being placed on the inactive list on Sept. 5, 2012.

      I think a series of injuries did his career in.

  5. y'all...kendry flores throws 90-95 mph with his fastball...

    1. That's great news, Marcus. Would you care to share a source for that?

  6. lol. i couldnt remember where i heared that from, so i done looked up 'kendry flors 95 fastball' and i saw that u said it in ur own post about a year ago! haha drb