Yankees could trade former No. 1 prospect

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial
Jul 20, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Estevan Florial (90) hits a home run during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Estevan Florial has been a consistent presence in the New York Yankees‘ minor league system since 2015. Garnering attention as a top prospect since his signing, Florial achieved rankings of No. 2 in 2018 and No. 1 in 2019 on the team, as per MLB Pipeline.

Florial’s Struggle to Break Into Major Leagues

Despite making his MLB debut in 2020, Florial has faced challenges in establishing himself as a regular or even a major league player. However, at just 25 years of age, there is still ample opportunity for him to shape a successful MLB career.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculates that Florial’s career might not unfold in New York. According to the MLB insider, there’s a high likelihood of Florial being used as a trading asset before the approaching Tuesday deadline.

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Yankees’ Trading Possibilities with Estevan Florial

Sherman expressed, “Estevan Florial has not been promoted probably because despite hitting/hitting for power/defending, he has a 29.3 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A. He has no options left and the Yanks didn’t want to try to sneak him through waivers again if he had to get sent down. My suspicion is he will be a piece of a trade before the deadline.”

Florial has had limited exposure to the majors this season, having played only one game without recording any plate appearances. On the other hand, his performance in Triple-A has been noteworthy, with a .295/.389/.589 line, 22 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a 136 wRC+ (a score of 100 represents an average offensive performance).

The Dilemma: Florial’s High Strikeout Rate

Despite his notable performances, his statistical profile is blemished by a 29.4 percent strikeout rate. The Yankees could certainly benefit from an outfielder like Florial, who demonstrates power, speed, and good defensive skills. Yet, promoting him and risking him clearing waivers might result in another team picking him up. This potential risk could explain his limited major league appearances this year.

Instead of risking losing Florial without any returns, the Yankees might prefer to hold onto him for a deadline deal, as suggested by Sherman.

As the trade deadline is just days away, the future of Florial should be decided within hours, bringing clarity to his career trajectory.