The New York Yankees have one of the deepest farms in all of baseball. We are talking absurdly deep, even as you get past the top 100 ranked prospects. We have all heard and seen the emergence of Aaron Judge (RF), and Gary Sanchez (C). We have also seen the glimpses of Clint Frazier (CF), a top prospect acquired in the Andrew Miller trade from Cleveland Indians, and Miguel Andujar. And a good portion of Yankee fans have heard the whispers of Gleyber Torres (2B) who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Aroldis Chapman, will be on full display this spring. But one name that has went under the radar is Estevan Florial.
The Yankee outfield is a crowded one, to say the least. With the recent acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, the emergence of rookie sensation Aaron Judge, blossoming unknown in Aaron Hicks, old reliable Brett Gardner, and several years of financial commitment ($84M/4Y) to Jacoby Ellsbury, there is already a log jam of space and that's not even factoring in Clint Frazier, who could easily be on this roster if there was room. Stanton is signed for the next decade, Judge is just starting out his career, Hicks is young and still developing, and unfortunately there is no way to move on from the Ellsbury contract. And then there's Clint Frazier, who is desperately trying to force the Yankees hand to find a place for him to play and rightfully so. Then we come to Estevan Florial who will be giving the Yankees a very good problem to have, a surplus of talented outfielders.
Estevan Florial, is the most accurate version of the prototypical "5 tool player" every organization loves to drool over. He checks all the boxes you want. Florial can hit for average and with power, has double plus speed on the base paths, has a plus throwing arm, and should pan out to be an above average defender in the field. Although all scouts rave about his raw power at the plate, the other tools of his game can often be forgotten. In 2017, Florial was rated the best athlete, best base runner, best defensive outfielder, and best outfield arm in the New York Yankees system.
Several months ago, the Yankees made a trade for Sonny Gray, and Florial was on Oakland's radar. The architect of this rebuild, Brian Cashman, stood his ground that Florial was a hard no, and with that, the deal eventually was made with other pieces and Florial was kept in the system. In 2017 at 19 years old, Florial was at least 2Y younger than his A ball counterparts and ahead in professional development. During the 2017 season he continued to grow and this would highlight the genius baseball mind of Mr. Cashman. At the beginning of 2017 in Low-A, Florial batted .297 / .373 / .483 with 26 XBH, 11 HR, 43 RBI's, and 17 SB's in only 91 games played before being graduated to High-A where he continued to rake. The most impressive part of Florial's 2017 season was his .400+ BABIP which clearly illustrates the quality of his hits being put in play. Like with every prospect, there are some areas that can be improved upon with growth. If Florial can shorten up his swing, put more balls in the air, and bring down the strike outs, the sky is the limit with his ability. Florial's potential can be a .300 / 20 HR / 20 SB hitter or dare I say even better with an above average glove and arm. If I was a betting man, I'd throw some chips down on Florial. He is the complete package for the making of an All-Star. What an amazing problem for Brian Cashman and the Yankee brass to have.