Many great New York Yankees prospects came into the Bronx with tons of hype, only for their talent to fizzle out as the prospect of superior competition started to overtake them. Outfielder Estevan Florial can officially count himself among that infamous group.
In theory, Florial seemed like a perfect developmental prospect. With tremendous speed, a great outfield glove, and a sweet line drive swing that helped him pile up tons of extra-base hits in the minors, the 6-1 outfielder was often held out of potential trades out of the fear he would develop into a star upon his departure from the Yankees.
New York has given him every opportunity to succeed in the pros and the minor leagues, but his talent never seemed to really catch up. With the Yankees in need of some bullpen help, the latest move from Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman will bring an end to the Florial era in a very premature fashion.
The Yankees acquired reliever Colten Brewer from the Tampa Bay Rays, but the acquisition also meant that Florial would need to be designated for assignment. This move shows just how much shine has come off Florial's star in recent years, as the Yankees are letting him go during his age-25 season.
Yankees designate Estevan Florial for assignment.
Florial has received just a handful of at-bats since the 2020 season, as he had 63 times at the late to prove himself. He struggled at the dish, hitting just .185 with one home run and three RBI with the Yankees. After just three hits in 31 at-bats with New York last year, the writing was on the wall.
The worst part of Florial's decline is that he should be in the starting outfield if he had hit his developmental stride. Giancarlo Stanton can mash, but he can't play the field every day. Florial was so poor that he let a converted shortstop learning the outfield on the fly in Oswaldo Cabrera beat him out.
Brewer isn't exactly the second coming of Mariano Rivera out of the bullpen, as he has a 5.04 ERA in just over 80 regular season games. The fact he was considered more valuable than Florial speaks volumes.
Florial's name is officially now etched in the Yankee graveyard that includes the likes of Clint Frazier and Manny Banuelos after failing to reach his full potential. Hopefully, he can catch on somewhere else, as it was never going to happen in New York.