Estevan Florial

Position: CF
Level: Class A
Affiliate: Charleston RiverDogs
League: South Atlantic League
Born: 11/25/1997 (Age: 26)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
B/T: Left / Right
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent, March 19th, 2015 (NYY)

Prospect Spotlight

After a big 2015 season that landed him Dominican Summer League Player of the Year honors, Florial struggled to adjust Stateside last season when he moved straight from the Short-Season A Appy League to High A Tampa. The gangly, 19-year-old Haitian is a very good athlete with a projectable frame and loose, athletic actions. He has above-average bat speed from the left side of the plate and gets good barrel exit with some present power to both gaps. Given the easy actions and strength projection, it is not a stretch to think that Florial will grow into above-average in-game power at maturity with the ability to drive the ball out to all fields.

Through 225 at-bats in 2017, Florial has an excellent damage rate with 25 extra-base hits, including eight home runs — four of which have been to center field and left field. His .419 BABIP is indicative of his consistent hard contact through the first half of the season, and while he may be feasting on the general lack of quality off-speed stuff at the level, the ability to barrel balls up on a regular basis bodes well for the youngster moving forward.

That all said, when he has faced better command guys and average off-speed stuff, the swing and miss has been easily exploited. As of June 14, he sits at a 31.9% whiff rate, easily his highest as a pro. The approach isn’t terrible right now, but he does have some fastball-hunter in him, and once he gets down in the count, his aggressive nature at the dish can get the better of him as he will expand the zone. But as poor as a 30-plus percent strikeout rate is, Florial has also walked 10.4% of the time, a sign that the the approach will get more consistent as he matures. As he advances, the fewer pitches to hit that he will see will be a challenge and test his aggressive nature, but the ingredients are there for him to make enough contact to let his power play as he climbs the ladder.

Defensively, his above-average run tool and plus arm give him the tools to eventually become an offensive-minded center fielder. His reads can be inconsistent, but at least some of that has to do with his inconsistent focus, which is more of a maturity issue than it is a lack of ability.

The Yankees are in no hurry with their prospects these days with the success they are enjoying at the big league level, so expect Florial to play the majority of 2017 in the Sally League, with eyes on getting him High A (and potentially some Double-A) at-bats in 2018. If he continues to progress along this track, New York could be looking at another Curtis Granderson (RF, Mets)-type of talent come 2020.