Yankees’ prospect bust will have another chance to prove his worth

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have historically been reluctant to promote former top prospect Estevan Florial to the MLB roster. Despite his standout performance this year in Triple-A, Florial has been confined to the role of a last-resort option. Yet, due to Jasson Dominguez tearing his right UCL, which will likely sideline him for at least half a year, Florial finds himself back in the Yankees’ plans.

Florial’s Triple-A Triumphs: Stellar but Not Enough

Florial, 25, has spent 101 games with the Scranton RailRiders this season, boasting a batting average of .284, a .380 OBP, and a .565 slugging rate. His remarkable stats include 28 home runs, 79 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, a 29.9% strikeout rate, a 13.7% walk rate, and a wRC+ of 129.

The Whiff Factor: Florial’s Contact Concerns

While Florial’s numbers in Triple-A are impressive, his elevated 29.9% strikeout rate and 35.6% whiff rate, ranking in the 7th percentile, remain worrisome. He may hit the ball hard, but the frequency with which he makes contact is a point of concern for the front office.

Stuck in “AAAA”: Florial’s MLB Struggles

Over the years, Florial’s inconsistent performance and lack of growth in key areas have led to his being labeled a “AAAA” player—a talent too good for Triple-A but not quite fitting in the MLB. To date, he’s appeared in 30 MLB games, hitting a modest .185 with a .302 OBP. His MLB stats include just one home run, three RBIs, and a 71 wRC+.

Stunted Development: The Yankees’ Reluctance

Unfortunately, the Yankees haven’t provided Florial with sufficient MLB playing time, impeding his overall development and growth. He was called up for just one game at the start of the season and was promptly sent back down to Triple-A.

A Glimmer of Opportunity: What’s Next for Florial

Despite their reservations, the Yankees are offering Florial a chance to prove himself over the next few weeks until the end of the regular season on October 1. If he can produce a promising sample of work, he may find himself competing for an outfield position during the spring training.

The Bottom Line: The Yankees Need Bodies

The Yankees are in dire need of players, particularly given their injury-riddled roster. In this scenario, promoting Florial, who has shown bursts of potential, carries little to no downside.

Watch this space as Estevan Florial attempts to battle his way back into the good graces of the Yankees’ front office. With a limited but vital window of opportunity, it remains to be seen whether he can finally make the leap from Triple-A star to MLB regular.

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