Yankees’ ex-top prospect has worked himself into the outfield conversation

mlb: new york yankees at toronto blue jays, estevan florial
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Yankees No. 1 overall prospect Estevan Florial has been the benefactor of late-season opportunities to produce for the ball club as their 2023 MLB season winds down.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has worked Florial into the batting order, where he’s registered four hits in 16 at-bats over the course of his last five games. Boone had this to say about New York’s approach to the close of the year:

“Even though we’re out of it now, we have a lot to play for and a lot to prove over this final week of the season,” said Boone.”

The Yankees Can Still Leverage Estevan Florial:

Florial has bounced around the rotation, leading off once and appearing ninth in the order twice in the Yankees’ series against the Kansas City Royals. He also batted fifth on Sept. 27 against the Toronto Blue Jays, which saw him record multiple hits for the second time this year.

He has seen a career-high 59 at-bats in 2023 over 19 games played, matching his total games played from a season prior, and has seen consistent time since Sept. 12. He’s only committed one fielding error in that span as well.

The Dominican-Haitian centerfielder saw his first taste of action in the major leagues in August of 2020, but a star-studded Yankees outfield including superstars Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton has limited opportunities for Florial to get ample time.

Florial accumulated 67 home runs and 265 RBIs in the entirety of his minor league career as a once highly touted prospect. With the Yankees out of playoff contention for the first time since 2016, Florial, as well as other reserves such as Everson Pereira, are getting their chance to make a name for themselves and earn more fixated spots on the roster in 2024.