TRENTON – While the Thunder hope to celebrate their fourth Eastern League championship against the Altoona Curve later this week, one of the Yankees top-prospects is hoping to partake in the champagne showers. Estevan Florial, the organizations fourth ranked prospect according to Baseball America, was officially promoted to Trenton on Tuesday afternoon. To make room on the roster, outfielder Jhalan Jackson was moved to the Tampa roster.
The 19-year old outfielder, whom the Yankees were adamant about not trading under any circumstances to strengthen the big league roster this past July, initially joined the Thunder as a non-rostered extra body when they returned home from Binghamton last Friday and remained with the team as they punched their ticket through the championship series.
In what proved to be a breakout campaign in 2017, Florial blasted 13 homers and drove in 57 runs while slashing .298/.372/.479 in 110 games between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa. The promising Haitian product garnered an appearance in the MLB Future’s Game in Miami with teammate Domingo Acevedo this past July, and will join Justus Sheffield, Thairo Estrada and Dillon Tate in the Arizona Fall League.
“This is amazing situation to come here, and to help the team,” Florial said. “Also to get experience here. It is good. They told me I have to be ready, in case they need me.”
Thunder Manager Bobby Mitchell admits while having Florial on the roster this late in the game gives his team an added dimension, he does not foresee the young prospect seeing much action unless an injury occurs or a need for speed late in games arises.
“It may depend on if someone gets hurt, possibly, or if I need a runner,” said Mitchell. “He can really run, from what I have heard. I am not sure if he is ready to steal bags here, but if we can take advantage of a slow pitcher, he would be the guy that will come in to run. With those two rehab guys leaving (Clint Frazier and Garrett Cooper), we don’t have [Rashad] Crawford on the bench to run, or [Abiatal] Avelino on the bench to run. It adds a little more to our offense.”
While Florial missed out on an opportunity to win a championship ring with Tampa after they dropped their split of the Florida State League title to Dunedin last week, he is excited at the thought of capturing one in Trenton.
“I couldn’t imagine that I was going to be here,” said Florial. “I am going to be here to try and help the team win.”