For years, New York Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial has teased with tantalizing tolos that include raw athleticism, impressive power, speed, defense, and a good arm from center field. Yet, he has continually been held back by an inability to make consistent contact, most notably with breaking balls.
After years of consistently failing in Class A-Advanced (he did well there but struggled in both 2018 and 2019) he took a cup of coffee last year with the big club but spent most of his time at the Yankeesâ€™ alternate training site.
That time seems to have worked wonders for him, at least in the early going. With the Double-A Somerset Patriots, Florial has been having a renaissance
The Patriots center fielder hit his fourth home run of the season on Sunday. Of those four, three have been of the leadoff variety.
The Yankees are closely following himÂ
The Yankeesâ€™ prospect, who has seemingly been around forever but is still somehow 23, has four homers, six RBI, five runs scored, .955 slugging percentage and 1.355 OPS, all while hitting .318 on the seasonâ€™s first six games.
Florial is still a promising player despite the recent struggles, and the early part of the 2021 minor league season has served as a reminder of that. Consistency will be the key for him to carve a future with the Yankees.
Yankeesâ€™ skipper Aaron Boone is definitely paying attention:
â€œHeâ€™s a beloved guy in that room and has a lot of people in that organization and players that are really pulling for him and know what his ceiling is, know how good he can be, know what the tools suggest,â€ Boone told reporters on the weekend. â€œIâ€™m excited for him to go out there and hopefully have a healthy, full minor-league season where heâ€™s able to re-establish what I think the industry and what we feel like heâ€™s capable of doing. It is exciting to see him get off to the kind of start he is. … Heâ€™s a five-tool (prospect). I think he could be an All-Star-caliber talent. A guy that can legitimately play center field, fly, power to all fields. He certainly has all the tools to be a special player. Itâ€™s about obviously putting those together and having it show up in performance and consistency.â€