Instead of moving up to Double-A Binghamton, the native of Venezuela was sent back to Class A Advanced St. Lucie. Also disappointing, the 20-year-old was no longer a shortstop.
But a lot has changed in a few months. Flores is happy as a third baseman, and his work at the plate is an indication that he may not be in the Florida State League much longer.
"It's not where you start the season, it's where you finish it," Flores said.
Showing improved discipline at the plate and generating more power, the right-handed hitter has been one of the key players in St. Lucie's first-half domination of the FSL's South Division.
Flores hit .313 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs in his first 54 games while drawing 15 walks and striking out just 21 times. He had a .360 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging mark -- both major improvements over his first two stints with St. Lucie.
"I'm a lot more patient," Flores said. "I'm laying off the curveball until two strikes, and I'm not trying to pull outside pitches. My strike zone is much better."
The 6-foot-3 infielder has also made defensive strides with the switch to third base, his eight errors a respectable number.
"I wanted to stay in the middle," said Flores, who also played second base in Spring Training. "Third base is quite different. I've had to make a lot of adjustments, but I like it now."
Flores' stock fell in the eyes of many as he struggled at times offensively and defensively after being promoted from Class A Savannah to St. Lucie midway through the 2010 season. But often overlooked was just how young he was.
Signed at 16, Flores doesn't turn 21 until Aug. 6.
"I still had things to learn," he said. "This is not an easy league."
Flores, added to the Mets' 40-man roster in the winter, is making it look a lot easier this season. That was shown by his selection for the Florida State League All-Star Game after being overlooked last year despite his prospect standing.
"It means you are doing good, right?" said Flores, who played in the 2009 All-Star Futures Game in St. Louis at age 18. "I'm excited to play."
The work at the plate with St. Lucie is a carryover from the Venezuelan Winter League, when he hit safely in 14 of his final 15 games for the Margarita Bravos while finishing with a .301 average and .382 on-base percentage.
Flores drove in 81 runs last season for St. Lucie but had just a .309 OBP. Now he is getting on base for others to drive him in as well.
May was especially good to Flores, who hit .358 with five doubles and seven homers in 27 games. He had a .414 OBP while slugging .604.
Being sent back to St. Lucie turned out to be just the right thing to get Flores' route to the Majors jump-started.
Flores is hitting just like the Mets had always hoped, the move to third base is going well and St. Lucie is the runaway first-half champion of the FSL South Division.
"We're having a lot of fun," Flores said.
Yelich put on DL: Jupiter outfielder Christian Yelich, the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, landed on the disabled list after suffering a concussion. He took a knee to the head while sliding into third base on a triple against Port Charlotte. Yelich, No. 31 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, was hitting .276 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 45 games.
So long, Castellanos: When third baseman Nick Castellanos hit .398 in April for Lakeland, it didn't seem possible that he could keep up that pace. But Detroit's No. 2 prospect was even hotter in May, batting .418 for the month. Castellanos, No. 45 among MLB.com Top 100 Prospects, had six hits in the first four games of June and led all Minor League hitters with a .405 average when he was promoted to Double-A Erie on Monday.
Turnaround for Asche: Clearwater third baseman Cody Asche had five multi-hit games while going 12-for-28 over a six-game stretch to raise his average to .343 -- second in the Florida State League. Asche batted just .192 in 68 games for Williamsport of the Class A New York-Penn League last year after being taken by the Phillies in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nebraska.
Arcia snubbed: Fort Myers outfielder Oswaldo Arcia wasn't a South Division selection for the All-Star Game despite some impressive offensive numbers. He was hitting .330 with a .388 on-base percentage and .551 slugging mark. Arcia, ranked as Minnesota's No. 4 prospect, had 14 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 28 RBIs in 48 games.