Patrick Teale

Here's a scouting report on Pulaski & Charleston outfielder Estevan Florial.

The New York Yankees signed outfielder Estevan Florial out of Haiti for a reported $200,000 in March of 2015 after identity issues in 2014 [once known as Haniel d'Oleo] initially prevented him from signing as one of the top International free agents that year. Tools-wise he has one of the highest ceilings not just in the Yankee farm system but in all of minor league baseball and the Yankees believe his off-the-charts intangibles will allow those tools to flourish someday.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Estevan Florial
Position: Outfield
DOB: November 25, 1997
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. First and foremost it is Florial's exceptionally quick bat speed that stands out among his many impressive tools.  His bat is simply lightning-quick and it's a huge reason why he is able to generate already big league average power from a still very wiry 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame.  In fact, it's that combination of already special bat speed and incredibly strong wrists, not to mention sporting the kind of physical frame that could [and really should] easily get stronger in the coming years that projects him to have plus long-term power potential once he's done growing.  The great bat speed is both a blessing and curse, however, as he feels he can hit nearly any pitch and it can make him very, very aggressive swinging at pitches he shouldn't be offering at.  There's also a rather patient approach attempting to fight its way to a more prominent role in his at-bats but he is still looking for that correct patient-aggressiveness balance.  Then there's the pitch recognition too -- at his core he has a good idea of which pitches are coming in but that aggressive approach will take over at times as well.  Extremely intelligent [he speaks three languages], he has the foundation in place to be a high-average hitter; he knows the strike zone well for somebody his age, he knows what pitches he is better off trying to handle, and the bat is so quick it can get to anything, and yet his youthful exuberance and ultra-competitive fire sometimes gets the best of him.   He can be a good hitter someday -- the physical and mental talent are there -- it just may take some time for the maturity to kick for him to maximize his hitting potential.

Base Running and Speed. As aggressive as Florial can be at the plate, ironically he's not even a shade as aggressive running the bases.  A plus runner [perhaps a tick closer to plus-plus] right now, he is most definitely too gun shy stealing bases.  He has the kind of wheels that should be a perennial 30-plus stolen base guy each year [maybe more] but he just shuts himself down once he gets gunned down.  A little Brett Gardner-like in that regard, Florial needs more of a short-term memory swiping bases.  Otherwise though, running station to station he's an elite base runner.

Defense. Just like his hitting, Florial's physical tools help overshadow what can be a very aggressive defensive game too.  His plus speed gives him exceptional range in centerfield and he boasts plus-plus arm strength too, the kind of special arm that is both rare and a huge weapon defensively.  However, he can get a little aggressive going after balls or attempting to make the impossible throws because he believes he can do anything, and that can lead to some miscues when he is better served being a bit more cautious.  Those kinks should iron themselves out though long-term as he continues to mature.  Defensively he's a special, special talent otherwise.

Projection. Physically there isn't much Florial can't do; he has plus-plus arm strength, plus defensive abilities, plus speed, and plus power, making him one of the elite four-tool players in the game today and already boasting the kind of game that should eventually find its way on a big league bench someday at minimum.  In fact, bench-wise he would probably be a major asset on a big league team right now despite his lack of experience, that's how special those four tools are.  However, there is a ton of intrigue with the fifth tool -- hitting!  With acceptable patience and pitch recognition already, fine-tuning his aggressive ways at the plate could allow his sizeable hitting ability and nearly limitless potential to be maximized too, and thus making him not only a big league regular outfielder who could hit in the heart of a lineup but one of the more productive ones around too.  Finding that blend of patience and aggressiveness isn't an easy task though, and there's really not an estimated timetable for that aspect of the game to come around.  With one of the best work ethics around though and being very intelligent it does seem it's more of a question of 'when' that adjustment will be made rather than 'if'.  There really isn't an apt big league comparison, more just a range.  Think Curtis Granderson if the hitting doesn't come around like it could or Bryce Harper-ish if it does.  Only time and experience will tell.

ETA. 2020. Florial finished his first full season last year in low-A Charleston and that's where he should begin the 2017 season.  With one-of-a-kind tools and exceptional mental makeup there's no telling how quickly he could advance from there.  We'd bet he needs three more minor league seasons [including 2017] but with talent like his all bets are off.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R BB SO SB OBP SLG OPS
2016 Tampa .125 8 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .125 .125 .250
2016 Charleston .300 20 0 1 5 4 2 5 0 .348 .550 .898
2016 Pulaski .225 236 10 7 25 36 28 78 10 .315 .364 .679
2015 DSL Yankees .313 224 11 7 53 54 30 61 15 .394 .527 .921

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