Yankees’ former No. 1 prospect is posting insane slugging metrics in Triple-A

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
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As the trade deadline looms in a few weeks, the New York Yankees may need to shift their focus toward strengthening their outfield. With the loss of Aaron Judge for an indefinite period, securing an above-average bat could help mitigate his absence while also providing a reliable starter in left field.

Current Outfield Roster: A Look at Performance

Without Judge’s presence, the Yankees have leaned on players like Billy McKinney and Jake Bauers. McKinney has had a strong start to the season, posting a .302 average with a .327 OBP and a 159 wRC+. But with his numbers likely to regress based on his career averages, the Yanks need to contemplate adding an established talent to their lineup.

The Estevan Florial Conundrum

The Yankees’ management may be refraining from giving former No. 1 prospect Estevan Florial another shot in the big leagues. But considering his outstanding slugging metrics, a chance at redemption for Florial might not be a bad idea.

Florial has performed commendably in Triple-A this year, with a .288 batting average, .379 OBP, .597 slugging percentage, 19 homers, 45 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, and a 136 wRC+ across 58 games. He ranks second in Triple-A home runs, trailing only Luken Baker who has hit 20 in 59 games.

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

From Triple-A to the Big League: Florial’s Journey

Florial’s track record in Triple-A isn’t new; he hit .283 with a .368 OBP in 2022. However, his strikeout rate hovers around 30%, a figure that tends to increase every time he sets foot on an MLB field.

Despite this, the Yankees have only given him 30 games of action, a considerably low number that should not lead to definitive conclusions.

Florial’s Potential Use in the Team

In the event of another injury, providing Florial with another opportunity could serve the team well. Alternatively, his status as a 25-year-old with significant upside, out of minor league options, might make him a viable trade piece.

With his athletic profile promising stolen bases and quality defense, Florial could offer substantial value to a team seeking a potential starter with game time to spare.

Weighing Florial’s Prospects with the Yankees

One could argue that the Yankees are among those teams, given the injury-hit state of their outfield and the underperformance of specific players.

However, it appears they have no plans to provide Florial with further opportunities, thus leveraging him in a trade or incorporating him as a trade sweetener may be their optimal course of action.

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