2018 Pinstripe Preview: Estevan Florial
The Yankees have one of the best outfields in all of baseball right now, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and even Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury. With all the talk this winter about the new “Bash Brothers,” one of the bigger storylines has slipped through the cracks, how great centerfield prospect Estevan Florial is.
Stats: (A FSL/SAL) 110 G, 420 AB, 77 R, 125 H, 23 2B, 7 3B, 13 HR, 57 RBI, .298 BA, .850 OPS
After a poor 2016 for the centerfielder, Florial bounced back with a great season in Single-A ball, improving on every offensive and almost every major defensive statistic. The speedy lefty had an impressive Fall league performance, hitting .300 with 15 hits, three doubles, one triple, and 3 RBIs in 50 at-bats for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
The Yankees third prospect struggled a bit to start the Fall league, struggling with strikeouts, but scouts in Scottsdale predicted when he figures out how to improve his plate discipline, he could be among the league's most talented players.
Florial has impressed again in spring training, hitting .278/.381/.611 with three triples and three RBIs in 18 at-bats. The 20-year-old is showing off his speed on the base paths as evident with his three triples, and in the outfield as well. It seems to be starting to click for Florial, and it's only a matter of time when he starts to knock down the door for a place in the Bronx. The Phillies play-by-play announcer had this to say about Florial's speed
Our Centerfielder of the near future?— The Bronx Zoo (@TheBronxZooNYY) March 1, 2018
ESTEVAN FLORIAL!https://t.co/SkXMm1sn7Z pic.twitter.com/I89WzlRvXC
As outstanding as Florial has been this spring, the Yankees have a fortunate problem, too many talented outfielders, and it's causing a backlog at the position. Estevan’s talent is undeniable, and the Yankees brass is very high on him, but there isn’t a place for him on the big league roster right now. The Yankees tend to take their time with their prospects, so Florial was going to spend some extra time in the minors no matter what, but the crowded outfield depth chart will likely make it an extended stay. Expect Florial to have a couple more great year in the minors before he gets his chance to start in the majors.