Prospect Profile: Estevan Florial
Continuing my offseason series looking at some of the Yankees’ upcoming prospects, today we are looking at Estevan Florial. MLB.com’s #2 ranked player in the Yankees farm system. While we last discussed Justus Sheffield, who made his MLB debut in 2018 (and as I am writing this there are rumors he is now headed to Seattle as part of the Paxton deal), Florial has some exciting tools, but needs some more polish before he will get his opportunity.
DOB: November 25, 1997 Birthplace: Haiti POS: OF B/T: L/R Height: 6’1 Weight: 185
Florial’s professional career was delayed a little due to some questions about his identity, but now he is working his way through the minors with possibly some of the best tools you will see in the Yankees’ system. He is ranked highly across the league with Baseball Prospectus ranking him 26th, Baseball America ranking him 38th, and MLB.com ranking him 44th.
Florial has three tools that are viewed as above average: raw power, speed, and arm strength. His left-handed bat and speed make him well-suited for Yankee Stadium. By all accounts Florial is very fast, helping him stretch hits into extra bases and groundouts into hits. On the other side fo the field, his speed helps in the outfield and his strong arm gives him the potential to be a plus defender.
The young outfielder’s biggest problem is his aggressiveness at the plate. He strikes out a lot and needs to work on his pitch selection. Florial’s speed worked well for him on the bases in 2017, but he wasn’t as successful this year.
Signing with the Yankees in March of 2015, Florial mashed his way through the Dominican League before spending the bulk of 2016 in rookie ball with Pulaski. He hit .225/.315/.364 there, getting in a few games with both Charleston and Tampa. In 2017, Florial split his time between Charleston and Tampa, combining for a .298/.372/.479 line. He knocked thirteen homers and swiped 23 bases, however, his lack of patience at the plate also shown through when he struck out 148 times and walked just 50 in 110 games.
This year, Florial managed to continue to work his way up, spending the year back in Tampa. He missed some time after undergoing wrist surgery in May, but put together a decent season. His line was .255/.354/.361 over 75 games. He only had three homers and three triples. He also stole eleven bases and was caught stealing ten times. Florial’s aggressiveness at the plate is problematic, as he racked up 87 strikeouts and walked 44 times.
Overall, the Yankees have a lot of potential in their (now highest ranked?) prospect, Florial. He is very raw and is going to require a lot of polish before he is going to get close to the Bronx. He is young and has plenty of room to grow. If he can stay healthy in 2019, it should be an exciting year to see how he progresses.