The New York Yankees signed outfielder Estevan Florial as an international free agent on March 19, 2015, to a $200,000 signing bonus.
Florial battled with paperwork issues due to his birth certificate and identity but the Yankees finally made the official signing after Brian Cashman got the go ahead from Hal Steinbrenner in March 2015.
The Yankees assigned Florial to their Dominican Summer League team to start his career. In 57 games, Florial produced a slash of .313/.394/.527 with 70 hits. The speedy Florial had 11 doubles, eight triples, and seven home runs while driving in 53 runs. He crossed the plate 51 times and stole 15 bases in 20 attempts. His first year in professional baseball shows why the Yankees hung in with his paperwork issues to sign him.
Florial did see a couple of games with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League in which he went 1-for-8, the one hit being a single. Florial went back to extended spring training and then settled into the rookie Appalachian League Pulaski Yankees opening day roster.
In 60 games with Pulaski, Florial played mostly centerfield and put up a slash line of .225/.315/.364. Florial had 53 hits, scored 36 runs while ripping 10 doubles, one triple while smacking seven home runs. He stole 10 bases in 12 attempts.
On September 1, Florial was brought up to the next level with the Charleston RiverDogs of the class low-A South Atlantic League. Florial appeared in five games and in 20 at-bats produced a slash of .300/.348/.550. He had six hits, one of which was a triple and another was a home run.
Florial is a very athletic talent who bats left and throws right. He has great speed and has tremendous range in the outfield. His range isn’t his whole defensive game, however. He also has a very strong throwing arm as well. He uses his speed on the basepaths as well and has a good success rate stealing bases, which makes him a multi-faceted weapon. At the plate, Florial has shown some pop with his power numbers, which is impressive considering his lanky frame and his age of 19 years old. He will turn 20 in November of this year.
Florial will most likely end up starting the season with the Charleston RiverDogs of class low-A. The Yankees are not going to rush him up the system as he’s only 19 years old and is still developing physically. If he has a good start with Charleston, he may get brought up to Tampa. The safe bet is that he will spend the bulk of the year with the RiverDogs.