Taking a look at two of the New York Yankees’ top prospects and how the shortened season will impact their progression:
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot more harm in every industry than most realize. With people struggling across the globe and lifestyles taking a significant hit, baseball is one function in society that has been halted due to the concern of further spread.
Major League teams are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the loss in revenue, time, and entertainment for fans. The minor-league system has been hit even harder, stopping the progression of prospects and seriously damaging the income required to operate specific farm systems. For the Yankees, two high-rated prospects will see a disadvantage from the postponement of the regular season.
Estevan Florial is the first Yankee who will suffer the consequences of a shortened 2020 campaign. At 22 years old, the Dominican has struggled to put together complete seasons of adequate play, dealing with injuries and inconsistencies over the last few seasons. The 2020 year was projected to be a bounce-back for Florial, who has seen 325 at-bats or fewer in four of his five seasons as a professional.
His best season was in 2017 when he earned the number one spot in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 rankings. He posted a .298 batting average with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. He also stole 23 bases in 120 games. Breaking his wrist twice the last two seasons has undoubtedly set him back, and a shortened campaign in 2020 will only do so again. A limited sample size will inevitably slow his progression and force the Yankees to wait another year until he can prove his worth.
However, it is possible the league extends the active roster and opens up a slot for Florial to be added. While this is just a rumor, expanding the active roster to mitigate injury risk could be a possibility.
Another prospect the Yankees will have to wait on is Deivi Garcia. In Grapefruit League play this past spring, García finished with a 7.36 ERA allowing seven runs over 7.1 innings. While eight strikeouts and a nasty curveball accompanied his statistically poor performance, he still has challenges to overcome in development to endure.
I would anticipate him making his debut in 2020, and the shortened season will undoubtedly hurt him as well. Luckily, both Florial and Garcia are young enough to withstand the storm and emerge on the other side unscathed.