Kendry Flores, International Man of Mystery?
Whatever else I had planned today just got put on the backburner. Only a few minutes ago, I noticed something on twitter that I think needs to be addressed. Andrew Cain just retweeted a picture posted by the team’s official account. The picture (originally tweeted yesterday), showed Tim Lincecum standing between – more like slightly in front of – Derek Law and Kendry Flores. Looking at this shot, I was immediately blown away by Flores’ size.
*Note: I can’t get the Twitter pics to upload here, so click on the links over to the right to view them.
Now, Timmy as we know is not a real big guy. He’s athletic, but still only 5-11. Law, while he doesn’t have the most athletic frame in the world, makes The Freak seem even smaller. People, Law is 6-3, 220… and Flores looks every bit as big as him (by my estimation), and even more athletic. Honestly, he looks to me like he’s cut from stone.
The Giants posted another shot this afternoon of some pitchers working in the “stables,” as I like to call them. Kyle Crick is obviously on the far end, with Timmy and Jose Casilla (who left his big bro behind in the DR) in the middle. If I had to guess the pitcher closest to the camera, I’d say it’s Jean Machi, who is looking much leaner himself. My question, then, was “who is the guy next to Crick?” I hadn’t seen the picture of Flores with Lincecum and Law yet, but I did think they had him (Flores) wearing #84. But I also thought it might be non-roster invitee Rafael Dolis (who’s listed at 6-4, 215).
Long story short… when I saw the picture of Flores/Timmy/Law from yesterday, I immediately went back to find the bullpen shot from today. There he was. Same guy, same impressive size, throwing next to 6-4 Cricky. Crick, who has probably the perfect pitcher’s frame, is a tad bit stocky himself. These are just my opinions, of course, but I think Flores looks even bigger than Crick!
So, my question to you, good readers: What in the heck happened to this string-bean kid from the Dominican who’s listed at 6-2, 175 pounds on every website I can find? How often are those things updated? To me, Flores now looks every bit of 6-4, 215, and maybe even bigger! Athletic as all get-out to boot!
Let’s get this straight: A kid who spent his first four professional seasons toying around in short-season ball – with solid peripherals, I might add – absolutely dominated down the stretch in Augusta last summer, his first full-season assignment. There was talk from David Lee of big velocity gains mid-season (up to 95), and the Giants placed him on the 40-man during the winter. He’s 22, in MLB camp, and looks like he’s grown at least two inches and gained a significant amount of weight. He’s got amazing control, and has a weapon in an above average changeup that could really separate him from some of the more heralded fastball-slider guys in the system.
Holy smokes people, how did we not catch wind of this?!
Mysteriously, Nathanial Stoltz (Fangraphs) posted nearly 20 videos of Flores facing individual hitters in a June 5 start (8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 7 K) that I just now found. It looks like he uploaded them about three weeks ago, as I know they weren’t around when I put together my Flores profile for the Cove Chatter 100. Up to this point, the only footage of Flores I’d ever seen was a far-away video on MiLB.com shot during his 15-K performance late last season. He didn’t look overly huge to me then, but it wasn’t all that easy to tell.
I’ll wrap it up by saying this: If Flores is 1) as big as he looks in those pictures; 2) throws as hard as Lee reported last summer; and 3) has above average command and secondary stuff (see the video of him facing the left-handed hitter for further proof), we could be looking at a monster here. Personally, I can’t wait to read the reports if he gets a few innings of work in during Spring Training. Maybe I’ll even shoot old David Lee a message and ask if he saw the pictures. He’s pretty good about responding to fans.
I know this came out of left field, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’m done with my afternoon rave, but I’ll leave you all with this question: Just who is this mystery man named Kendry Flores, and what does he have in store for 2014?