OF Estevan Florial
It seems like every year, the New York Yankees have an opportunity to give Estevan Florial a shot to prove himself, even as a 4th outfielder, and every year, they have a veteran they’d rather give an attempt to. It was Brett Gardner in 2020 and 2021, and now it’s Matt Carpenter and Marwin Gonzalez. Granted, Gonzalez and Carpenter have been great pick-ups for the Yanks, but it only means the Yankees are less inclined to give Florial a chance.
Despite not getting a shot with the Yankees, Florial has been a beast at Triple-A this season. In 301 plate appearances, the outfield prospect is batting .303/.385/.534 with a .398 wOBA and 142 wRC+. He currently leads all Yankee’s minor leaguers in OPS while being second in wOBA and wRC+ (min. 200 trips to the plate).
Florial has power and speed. He has swiped 27 bases in 32 attempts and has a dozen homers. Florial uses his speed to the tool’s fullest potential with an OBP approaching .400 and a walk rate of 11.6%. The only red flags are his .410 batting average on balls in play and 28.9% strikeout rate. But with a high line-drive rate, he will likely have a bit of a high BAbip.
Florial is a good fielder as well. He’s a center fielder by trade but can obviously play the corners. He has a powerful arm that can play in any outfield spot. The strikeouts are a concern, but if that’s the only significant warning sign for Florial, it’s odd that the Yankees keep pushing him down on the depth chart.
Now take this next part with a heaping grain of salt, but according to Baseball Trade Values, Florial has just a +1.0 value. With Luis Severino undergoing an MRI, could we see the Yankees kick the tires on Quintana? Maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates can get a good pitching prospect like T.J. Sikkema or Yoendrys Gomez and get Florial as an add-on in a Quintana trade? That’s just spitballing a trade idea, but either way, Florial could likely be had for a low cost that wouldn’t involve the Pirates’ southpaw starter.