Aug 30, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Jesus Flores (26) bats during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Flores and What Could Have Been

July 29, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Jesus Flores (26) gets help from home plate umpire Mike Estabrook after he was hit by a foul ball from Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) (not pictured) in the third inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Back at the start of the 2009 season, Jesus Flores appeared as though he may be a burgeoning star. A catcher that appeared to be developing a solid power stroke and seemed as though he was coming into offensively. A month into the season, Flores had a .301/.371/.505 batting line, with four home runs in 93 at bats. At age 24, Flores appeared as though he could be turning into a solid bat at catcher.

Then, as Flores appeared on the verge of becoming one of the better young catchers in baseball, he was placed on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his shoulder. That injury cost Flores not just the rest of the 2009 season, but all of 2010 as well. When he returned in 2011, Flores was just a shell of himself. The offensive promise that Flores showed in 2009 has all but disappeared.

With Wilson Ramos entrenched as the Nationals catcher of the present and future, and Flores not showing any of the promise that had been there just a few short years ago, Flores was allowed to depart as a free agent, signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers. After hitting at a paltry .164/.218/.233 rate for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Flores was released.

Flores latched on with the Durham Bulls ten day later, and did not hit much better, producing a .178/.212/.244 batting line. Flores just did not appear to be able to hit at all, his talent seemingly sapped by that injury suffered four years ago. Any thought that Flores could be a reclamation project that could help the Rays at a position of need next season appeared to be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Now, at only 28 years old, Flores may no longer have anything to offer a major league club. With this struggles at AAA last season, it may be fair to think that Flores is at the end of the line.

In 2009, Jesus Flores appeared as though he may be on the verge of becoming one of the bright stars at catcher. Four years later, that star may have dimmed to the point of having gone out.

Tags: Jesus Flores Tampa Bay Rays Washington Nationals

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