Detroit Tigers: Checking up on pitcher prospect Wilmer Flores

Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Wilmer Flores goes through drills during spring training minor league
Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Wilmer Flores goes through drills during spring training minor league / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Checking up on Detroit Tigers prospect Wilmer Flores

The Detroit Tigers saw a big jump in performance out of Wilmer Flores last summer. He was lights out on the mound and started to garner some attention for his performance and how well he did upon settling in with the organization, especially last season with Double-A Erie.

However, the Detroit Tigers prospect has been much quieter in 2023, so let's take a look at how this season has treated the right-handed pitcher. After all, coming into the season, he was the no.7 ranked prospect on the Motor City Bengals Top-30 prospects list.

The 22-year-old from Venezuela was looking to build upon a good season in 2022 and come out of the gates in 2023 and find similar success that he had shown in years past. Though, it seems some things have been "off" for the right-handed pitching prospect.

It has not been the season of performance that Flores was hoping for. He's stationed with Double-A Erie, pitching for the SeaWolves. He's pitched in 12 games with 49.2 innings pitched, pitching to a 3-3 record. He has allowed 46 hits and 23 walks and punched out 48 opposing hitters. Flores has managed a 4.53 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

It's a far cry from 2022, where he spent time between two different levels. He spent the most time with Double-A but also made the jump to Triple-A to pitch for the Mud Hens in 6 different games. In total, Flores logged 24 starts with one relief appearance. He accumulated 103.1 innings pitched between the two affiliates.

Flores pitched to a 2.79 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP, with 81 hits, 23 walks, and 130 punchouts, while pitching to a 7-4 record. Considering he's already walked 23 hitters this year, he's matched his 2022 total, which is not the most ideal.

Flores is a former undrafted free agent who has really been striving for a big season in 2023 after winning the Detroit Tigers MiLB Pitcher of the Year award last year. However, things have been a bit bumpy. There was hope to improve some of his movement profiles with some pitch design work, according to Scott Harris, and the tinkering may have led to some struggles as they continue to iron things out.

It's not time to really panic, but the start to 2023 for Flores has not been the best. There's reason to wish for him to better his performance as the season goes on and try to get the numbers back on track to where they were in 2022.