Yankees refuse to give former No. 1 prospect another chance

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

As the New York Yankees battle through an offensive slump, some are questioning whether the team should consider leveraging its rich pool of minor league talent, particularly former No. 1 prospect Estevan Florial, who is currently enjoying a productive spell in Triple-A.

The Overlooked Talent: Estevan Florial

Despite Florial’s 21 homers at the Triple-A level, he seems to be increasingly overlooked in favor of players like Franchy Cordero. Cordero’s performance this season, with a batting average of .148 and an OBP of .179 before his demotion to Scranton, leaves many to wonder why the Yankees’ management isn’t giving Florial a chance.

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The Underperforming Veteran: Franchy Cordero

Cordero’s record is far from stellar. He is known as a subpar defender, and his career performance in the MLB, featuring a .215 batting average with a .282 OBP over 246 games, implies that a dramatic turnaround is unlikely.

Florial vs. Cordero: A Tale of Two Players

Florial, on the other hand, has only had 30 MLB games to prove his worth – not enough to draw definitive conclusions. Management appears reticent to give Florial another shot, prompting suggestions that a trade may be the best course of action at the deadline. However, it’s worth noting that both Florial and Cordero have shone in Scranton this season.

Cordero has a .345 batting average with a .462 OBP, seven homers, and 31 RBIs across 34 games. Florial boasts a .295 average, a .391 OBP, 21 homers, 50 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, and a 139 wRC+.

From Minor-League Stars to Big-League Struggles

Success in the minors doesn’t always translate to the major leagues. If Florial were to prove his mettle with the Yankees, it could potentially increase his trade value, presenting an opportunity for GM Brian Cashman to leverage him in a deal at the deadline.

However, the Yankees’ management continues to sideline their former top prospect, leading to concerns about his future with the team.

A Reluctance to Embrace Youthful Potential

The Yankees’ reluctance to give young players an opportunity is an area of concern. While Jake Bauers has been a decent addition with a 114 wRC+ and seven homers this season, players like Billy McKinney and Franchy Cordero, have been far from impressive. The latter is regarded as a liability every time he steps onto the outfield grass.

Rather than banking on an improbable turnaround from veterans, the Yankees should consider giving their talented youngsters a shot.

Case in Point: Anthony Volpe’s Promotion

The Yankees promoted 22-year-old Anthony Volpe ahead of the season, who has shown promise despite his fluctuations in performance. If they were willing to promote Volpe, surely they can acknowledge the struggles of their veterans and supplement the team with fresh talent at critical positions.

The Question of Roster Management

There seems to be little logic behind keeping Franchy Cordero on the active roster with significant playing time. There’s even a case to be made for promoting Everson Pereira, a 22-year-old prospect who recently advanced to Triple-A and had an excellent stint with Double-A Somerset post-injury.

While the Yankees seem wary of promoting prospects prematurely, other successful teams often take this route and reap considerable benefits. This raises questions about the Yankees’ current roster management approach and failure to capitalize on their minor-league talent pool.