When Brian Cashman and his front office assembled trades prior to last season’s deadline, the consensus among most analysts was that New York viewed outfield prospect Estevan Florial more as a piece worth keeping, rather than moving.
So far this spring, the 20-year-old Dominican native is proving why the Yankees held that stance.
In 20 Grapefruit League at-bats, Florial, who is the No. 38 overall prospect in baseball (per Baseball America)and No. 2 on the Yankees’ Top-30 prospects list (per MLB Pipeline), has hit .300 with three triples and three RBI. Although he’s not major league-ready, Florial’s above average speed, arm strength, and raw power have been put on display.
“It’s great,” Florial told YES Network’s Lou DiPietro of his ranking as a farmhand. “But it’s even better to be there as part of the New York Yankees. To be a top prospect in the best organization in baseball is a great thing.”
Florial has only played 19 games in High-A, but a strong stint in last year’s Arizona Fall League (seven XBH, four RBI in 19 games) warranted his first spring training invite. He told YES that he’s accepted the time in Tampa, Fla. as a learning experience.
“I cannot come in here and not find ways to improve,” Florial said. “I want to learn as much as I can from the guys who have been here, because I feel like I can learn something from everybody…but maybe I’ll be able to show something of myself, too.
“I don’t feel any [prospect pressure], because whether you’re a top prospect or not, the work is the same, and you have to keep working on your game no matter what. And, when you wear this uniform, the pinstripes, you have to always be on top of your game, and you know that.”
Between High-A Tampa and Low-A Charleston last season (110 games), Florial slashed .298/.372/.479 with 13 home runs, 23 doubles, seven triples, 57 RBI, 50 walks, and 23 stolen bases.