Though he pitched just 91 1/3 innings while logging a 5.32 ERA in three seasons at Southern California, Flores showed enough to get the White Sox to take him in the seventh round of the 2016 Draft. His stuff backed up in his first full season as a pro and never has rebounded fully, but learning how to survive with less velocity made him a better pitcher. He successfully navigated Double-A despite losing two months to an oblique injury and claimed a spot on Chicago's 40-man roster in November.
Flores' fastball once reached 97 mph but now sits at 90-93 mph and tops out at 95 but avoids barrels with its riding life. Though the consensus is that his changeup is his best offering and shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch, right-handers hit him hard in 2019. He has improved his curveball and added a slider/cutter in 2018.
Flores manages to succeed with four average offerings because he has greatly improved his control and command since college. He's the best strike-thrower in the system and generates a lot of ground-ball contact. He also fields his position well and has a deadly pickoff move, adding to his profile as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 40
Despite logging a 5.32 ERA and working just 91 1/3 innings in three years at Southern California, Flores intrigued the White Sox enough to get picked in the seventh round of the 2016 Draft. His stuff regressed in his first full pro season, though learning how to survive with diminished velocity helped him become a better pitcher. He won't overpower batters but has one of the higher floors among Chicago's mound prospects.
Flores' fastball velocity has varied over the years but has settled at 89-92 mph with a peak of 94 -- he has hit 97 in the past -- and stays off barrels with its riding life. His best offering is a changeup that gets some well above-average grades when at its best. He improved his curveball and refined a slider/cutter last season, though both are mostly average pitches.
After battling his control and command in college, Flores has developed into one of the best strike-throwers in the system. He has little margin for error and helps himself by doing the little things well, such as fielding his position and controlling the running game. He profiles as an end-of-the-rotation starter or a middle reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45
After pitching sparingly in three college seasons at Southern California, Flores signed as a seventh-round pick in 2016 and quickly established himself as the best left-handed pitching prospect in the White Sox system. Then his stuff regressed in his first full pro season, which ended three weeks early after he strained an oblique. Working with diminished velocity helped him become a better pitcher, however, and he has consistently registered quality starts throughout '18.
Flores' fastball velocity fluctuated from 88-97 mph with the Trojans, parked at 92-97 during his pro debut, but sat around 90 mph in 2017. He's working at 90-94 mph this year, giving him more separation from a quality changeup that can be a well above-average pitch at its best. He has tightened his curveball in '18 and also will mix in a slider/cutter.
Flores' control was as inconsistent as his fastball in college, but he has pounded the strike zone throughout his pro career. Though he doesn't have a plus pitch and doesn't miss a lot of bats -- both of which limit his ceiling -- he has a reasonably high floor as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 45 | Cutter: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45
Flores totaled just eight starts and 91 1/3 innings in three college seasons at Southern California, flashing velocity but little else before signing for a slightly under-slot $200,000 as a seventh-rounder last June. After making a few mechanical tweaks and getting the opportunity to pitch regularly in his pro debut, he asserted himself as the best left-handed pitching prospect in the system. His stuff has regressed in his first full season, though he pitched well enough to earn a promotion to Class A Advanced at the end of June.
Flores' fastball ranged anywhere from 88-97 mph in college, but operated consistently at 92-97 mph in Rookie ball and instructional league and has sat around 90 mph in 2017. His fading changeup can be a well above-average pitch at times, though not consistently yet because it can get too firm. The White Sox have helped him add some depth to his curveball and he also can mix in a cutter, though both offerings are usually fringy.
With a fresh arm and room to add strength on his 6-foot-3 frame, Flores has more projection than a typical college pitcher. He halved his walk rate from 3.4 per nine innings with the Trojans to 1.7 during his debut while using his size to create angle and plane on his pitches, and he has continued to pound the strike zone this year. He looked like a possible mid-rotation starter during his pro debut, but now it's hard to know what to make of him.