Yankees: Can Estevan Florial avoid flaming out as an injury prone prospect

Estevan Florial, Yankees Prospect (l'union Suite)

Tagged as a Yankees “Top Prospect” is always a bane conjoined with a bonus. Estevan Florial is fast reaching a crossroads in his journey with the team…

The Yankees enjoy a status among major league teams occupied by only a few teams. Count the Dodger, Red Sox, and Cubs with them and imagine yourself as a highly-rated college player on the eve of the June Amateur Draft.

What are you thinking? Are you waiting for the Seattle Mariners, or maybe the Miami Marlins, to call your name, considering this is your quickest path to The Show?

Or, do your dreams lie with the chance to play before 50,000 cheering fans at Yankee Stadium, the Cathedral Of Baseball?

It’s all out of your hands, of course. But what goes through your mind when the die is cast at the moment the Yankees call your name?

You know you are now in the hands of a well-oiled and highly respected organization. You will be well taken care of, and everything will be first-class all the way from accommodations and meals, if not the pay you, as with all minor leaguers receive.

Estevan Florial: The Journey Begins

You are Estevan Florial, drafted by the Yankees and immediately vaulted onto a level as one of their top prospects. And beginning in 2015, you embark on a journey that will take you to nine minor league teams – with nothing but accolades along the way.

Yankees Prospect Estevan Florial Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Yankees Prospect Estevan Florial Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In one season, Florial is voted to the All-Prospect Team in the Arizona Fall League, Most Outstanding Major League Prospect when he was with Charleston, and a MILB.com Yankees Organization All-Star.

That was in 2017, two seasons ago, with nothing to write home about since then, except for the bane of injuries.

Oh yes, lots of them. In 2018, Florial had a hamate bone injury that kept him out for a couple of months.

In 2019, he was lighting it up in spring training and then ran into the wall and broke his wrist.

Yankees Observe As Florial’s Star Dims

Beyond the injuries, though, there is Estevan Florial, the ballplayer. And it is here that it becomes even more entangled.

Over five seasons and just under 400 games played in the minors, Florial has put up pedestrian numbers (look here).

And so it is that Estevan Florial is still in the heart and hope of the Yankees. This, despite having fallen out of the Yankees top prospects in 2020.

Florial remains on the Yankees active roster, and he will report to Spring Training theoretically in good health and ready to challenge Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier for a spot on the tram moving North as a reserve outfielder.

Chance Adams, Perennial Yankees Prospect
Chance Adams, Perennial Yankees Prospect Photo Credit: The Greedy Pinstripes

Where do the tracks of this hunter lead now?

Does Florial join the ranks of Mason Williams and Chance Adams as coveted, and now, discarded prospects.

Or, is the dream still alive that he too can join the ranks of Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter, and Brett Gardner as the home-grown talent that rose above the rest?

The Yankees Believe – Now It’s Up To Florial

The talent is still there. The Yankees have shown an ongoing belief in Florial, and this winter, he was one of four players sent to MLB’s annual Rookie Career Development Program.

Deivi Garcia, Yankees Top Pitching Prospect (Photo: New York Post)
Deivi Garcia, Yankees Top Pitching Prospect (Photo: New York Post)

The program is reserved only for minor league players who are on the cusp of making it to the big leagues. Florial was joined by Deivi GarciaNick Nelson, and Miguel Yajure.

Another vote of confidence from the Yankees came Florial’s way when they added him to their 40-man roster, thereby protecting him from the Rule 5 Draft.

So, the Yankees are doing their part.

Now, it’s up to Estevan Florial to do his by staying on the field so he can make those small adjustments that are needed to take those final steps without joining the ranks of flaming out prospects we see so often.

A product of Haiti, here’s a video snapshot of the 22-year-old:

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.