New York Yankees five-tool prospect is quickly becoming irrelevant

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Estevan Florial
Mar 7, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Estevan Florial (92) safely slides back into first base during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

A lot can happen in two years, and New York Yankees five-tool prospect Estevan Florial can attest to that statement. Two years ago, Florial was a must-see player during spring training, as he was expected to be the Yankees next centerfielder. However, injuries have plagued his career up to this point and set him back significantly from his overall goal of reaching the big leagues.

At 20 years old, most believed he had the defensive attributes to start in the majors, but he suffered a broken wrist in both 2018 and ’19, forcing him to rehab for a majority of the season while putting together a minimal sample size worth of statistics.

This off-season would have been the perfect opportunity for Florial to earn starting reps in the outfield, especially with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, all missing time. The outfield was set to start the season with Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, and Clint Frazier as their starting three. However, with the coronavirus setting back Opening Day, things could be different.

In 2019, Florial was still the Yankees number one ranked prospect, but he dropped this off-season significantly as others continue to climb the list. Young starting pitcher Deivi Garcia and outfield Jasson Dominguez have risen considerably in recent months.

What must Estevan Florial do to earn a spot on the New York Yankees’ top team?

Estevan must do two things during the 2020 campaign, and those are to stay on the field and remain healthy, and cut down his strikeout rate. In five years, Florial has struck out on 28% of his plate appearances. Over the last two years, he has struck out 127 times and collected 78 hits.

“It’s part of the game. You don’t want to strike out all of the time,” Florial said, per Baseball America. “I have to get better at that.”

“Everyone sees the potential. At some point (a player) has to start producing,” farm director Kevin Reese said when asked about Florial.

The young outfielder is running out of time to prove his worth before being pushed toward the back of the line. This upcoming season should be essential in his development and progress for the future — health remains a significant factor.