The Times-Tribune’s annual countdown of the top 10 Yankees prospects is back. Here’s what happens: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley ranks 15 prospects, Donnie Collins ranks 15 prospects, and then they’re averaged together. The list takes into account ETA for the big leagues. You’re going to find some guys who might not have ceilings as high as others, but who instead could be in a position to help the Yankees sooner.
Estevan Florial made his MLB debut in 2020 and was at both versions of the alternate site, but the super toolsy outfielder will start the season at Double-A Somerset. If he avoids injuries and is able to improve his pitch recognition — Florial struck out in 32.6% of his plate appearances in 74 games at High A in 2029 — he has a chance to be special.
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent March 19, 2015 out of Dominican Republic.
SWB ETA: 2021
What about last year?
Made his major league debut Aug. 28 and went 1 for 3 against the New York Mets, his first hit (a single) coming off Walker Lockett. Spent the rest of the season at the alternate site, where he hit 12 home runs in sim games. He also played 18 games in the Domincan Winter League, where he batted .280 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage. He had two doubles, a triple, a homer and went 3 for 4 in stolen base attempts. He was also 5.1 years younger than the average player in the league. In 2019, injuries limited Florial to 74 games and he put together a .237/.297/.383 line at High A.
Tell me something
Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:
- MLB Pipeline: “… Florial’s speed and arm strength earn double-plus grades from some evaluators. If he can refine his plate discipline and his basestealing acumen, he could become a 30-30 threat. His quickness and instincts give him quality range in center field and he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions. … “
- Fangraphs: “… His swing’s length makes it so he has to cheat to catch velocity at the top of the zone, and if he gets caught doing that, he ends up swinging over top of well-executed offspeed and breaking stuff away from him. He has elite physical ability and I’m sure he’ll golf out dingers when pitchers miss down-and-in to him, but big league pitchers are too good to make that kind of mistake over and over again. …”
Photo: New York Yankees
Conor Foley goes beyond the box score with in-depth coverage of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has worked at The Times-Tribune since graduating from University of Scranton in 2011, and he has covered the RailRiders since 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; or @railridersTT