It’s now or never: Estevan Florial.

The Yankees are still looking for a LF, preferably one who hits left-handed in order to balance out the lineup. But what if they can’t get or don’t like any of the free agents or trade possibilities out there?

You still have on the roster Oswaldo Cabrera and Aaron Hicks. Cabrera is someone the Yanks would rather use in a jack-of-all-trades role, while Hicks has worn out his welcome and the Yanks really would like to trade him.

There is someone else, and for that person, 2023 is a now-or-never time for him. Estevan Florial is out of options, so if he makes the team, he would have to stick.

There is no doubt that Florial, with his speed, could handle LF defensively. He has played mostly CF in the minors but should not have too much of a problem moving over to left. The problem has been his hitting. In 29 major league games (and yes, he has been on the elevator the last few years, up/down, up/down, no consistent stays) he has hit .185 with 1 HR and 3 RBI in 54 at bats. Worse yet, is the 21 strikeouts. He isn’t putting the ball in play. You can’t steal second if you can’t get on first.

Last season, Florial hit .097 in the majors (3 for 31, with 13 strikeouts). Ugh. At AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (SWB) he hit .283 with 15 HR and 39 SB in 101 games. But with 140 strikeouts. The year before, he divided 87 games between AA and AAA and only hit .219, albeit with 17 HR, but once again, a lot of strikeouts.

There is power there, and speed there too. But potential is another word for “you haven’t done it yet”. Unfortunately for Florial, 25, a LOT of strikeouts are there too.

If the Yanks don’t make a move, an opportunity is there for Florial in spring training. But being out of options, it may be his last chance. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts, put the ball in play, and give himself a chance to showboat his speed. And if he puts the ball in play more, the lefty power will show up at the Stadium.

But as mentioned, Florial is down to his last chance.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s