One of the New York Yankees’ best youth prospects earned a chance to showcase his abilities in spring training with the starting team. After struggling in the minor leagues with inconsistency at the plate, he still managed to get the invite to play.
Estavan Florial, a lanky yet uber-athletic outfielder is the player mentioned. His immense speed has been noted as he climbs the ranks. He stole two bases against the Boston Red Sox in the Yankees’ 8-5 loss last Sunday. His speed and agility were on full display, and he showed why he can be an impactful player moving forward.
“The pitch that Florial stole on (in the second inning) wasn’t a pitchout, but it was almost like a pitchout and he just kind of out-ran (the throw),” Yankees manager Aaron Boone marveled. “It is a weapon.”
The outfielder’s speed is certainly a deadly weapon in his arsenal, as he stole 16 bases last year. The Yankees don’t have players that can steal bases consistently, as they tend to rely on home runs to get points on the board. Adding a player like Florial would instantly make their base running that much more efficient.
How did the Yankees youth product perform?
In Florial’s first at-bat he singled to right field, proceeding to steal second base. He then reached on a throwing error in his second at-bat and stole second again. The ability to move the bases inevitably increases the probability of scoring. If Florial is on first and a single is hit, he only reaches third base. If he’s on second, he scores with ease. That’s what a good base runner can do for a team and why Florial’s stock continues to rise.
“He has all the tools you hear about,” Boone said of Florial. “They are real. We encouraged him to be aggressive on the bases, especially here early and he has. He’s made a difference.”
The MLB pipeline ranks Florial is the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect. The 21-year-old will be looking to bolster his stock in the year ahead and potentially make the move up in 2020.
A broken wrist in last season severely limited his development and efficiency at the plate. Moving forward, I expect him to gain confidence at the plate and regain his form after a rocky 2018 season.