Feature Photo: Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees
Editor’s Note: We’ve added all of our recent scouting reports, spotlights, and live video from the Arizona Fall League to our 2018 sortable libraries at the links below:
Also, be sure to check out our podcasts page for episodes of Defensive Indifference (AFL Edition) with your hosts Ryan Sullivan and John “Uncle Jack” Eshleman.
Featured AFL Videos
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (Surprise Saguaros)
- Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (Surprise Saguaros)
- Julio Pablo Martinez, OF, Rangers (Surprise Saguaros)
- Taylor Guilbeau, LHP, Nationals (Salt River Rafters)
- Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates (Surprise Saguaros)
- Chris Lee, LHP, Orioles (Glendale Desert Dogs)
Featured AFL Reports
- Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions) -John Eshleman
- Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions) -Adam McInturff
- Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters) -Adam McInturff
- Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions) -John Eshleman
- Ryan McKenna, OF, Orioles (Glendale Desert Dogs) -Adam McInturff
Featured AFL Spotlights
Jazz Chisholm, SS, Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters)
Ht/Wt: 5’11”/165 lbs. B/T: L/R Age (as of September 1, 2018): 20y, 7m
Signed for $200,000 from the Bahamas in 2015, Chisholm was sent to the Fall League coming off his best season as a pro. 20-years-old for all of 2018, the athletic shortstop smacked 25 home runs combined between two A-Ball levels, while showing of his tools on both sides of the ball. A minor injury kept him out of game action for most of my looks in Salt River, though I was impressed with Chisholm’s raw tools in workouts, and I did catch a few games at the end of my coverage.
Athletic and wirey at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, there’s quick-twitch strength in his frame that yields surprising bat speed and power. He can drive the ball to both fields, and is able to backspin and lift to the pull side and get to fly ball power in games. He’s aggressive and a bit of a free swinger now, showing trouble controlling the barrel at times. Chisholm whiffs a good amount, but at his age, I’m banking on some projection given the athleticism and impact offensive tools. Defensively, he’s light on his feet with very fluid actions and a strong arm. He looks the part at shortstop and projects to remain at the position long term.
Chisholm’s mix of youth, athleticism, and offensive upside at an up-the-middle position might push him into Top 125 consideration this winter. On the heels of a breakout season, he has arguably blossomed into Arizona’s top position prospect. The best-case ceiling is an above-average shortstop in a Didi Gregorius (SS, Yankees) mold—able to impact the game defensively with unexpected ability to drive the ball. Chisholm will be 21 next year and likely gets his first taste of Double-A competition. -Adam McInturff
Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees (Salt River Rafters)
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/185 lbs. B/T: L/R Age (as of September 1, 2018): 20y, 9m
Florial burst onto the national prospect scene in 2017 with a strong effort in Class A. He missed two months with a hamate injury this season, but posted a strong .308/.390/.481 slash line the rest of the way for High A Tampa. Despite being one of the youngest players in the AFL this fall, 2018 is his second tour of the league. He struggled mightily during my week covering Glendale, though the high-upside tool set that has him on the radar was still on display.
Florial is built with twitchy muscularity, and his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame has the strength for power while still maintaining plus speed. He glides in the outfield and has a plus arm that impacts the running game. He has plus bat speed and whistles the barrel through the zone, though the path is long to the ball and struggles to make contact against secondary stuff. With improvements to his approach there’s legitimate five-tool potential, but the hitting ability has a ways to go and is still at least a full year away from big league ready.
The best-case scenario is an above-average regular who hits for above-average power at a center-diamond position. Even if the bat-to-ball ability never fully develops, Florial’s standout athleticism and speed/power potential will get him to the Major Leagues. He’s young enough now to chance on the side of projection, though it would be good to see a decline in the strikeout rate and improved feel at the plate in the next two years. -Adam McInturff