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Jose Flores Given Chance To Become Newest Forgotten Mariner

Juan José Flores
Juan José Flores

The Mariners had the second overall pick in this morning's Rule 5 Draft, and they used it on a young reliever out of the Indians' system by the name of Jose Flores. He is one of eight Jose Floreses in professional baseball history, but interestingly, there has never been a single Joe Flowers. Just as there has never been a single Joe Table or Joe Bread And Water.

Flores is a 21 year old righty coming straight from the A-ball Midwest League. Immediately, what that should tell you is that he's a super long shot, just as all Rule 5 picks are super long shots. However, what the Mariners like most about him is that he throws strikes, as he walked just seven batters over 42 innings. The team might feel that a guy who works around the zone has a better chance of sticking than a wilder guy with better stuff, because the ability to locate is the most important ability any pitcher can have.

Flores works off of a fastball in the low-90s. And that's pretty much it, as no one has anything real glowing to say about his secondary stuff. And what this could end up being is a commitment to give Flores a month in spring training to show that he can throw another pitch, too. If Flores suddenly shows that he can throw a changeup or a slider or something, then, great. He probably won't, and as such he'll probably be sent back to the Indians, but that's the way these Rule 5 picks work. Top prospects are protected. Projects are available, and so projects get drafted. Nobody looks to the Rule 5 Draft intending to make an impact addition.

The Mariners have seen Flores pitch. I have not. The Mariners clearly like him enough to have made him a very high selection, and for that reason alone you figure he'll get a real chance. Just don't expect much. If Jose Flores sticks, it will be an absolute shock.