Estevan Florial is hitting like a top prospect again.
The 23-year-old, who was the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect in 2018 but fell off in recent years due to various injuries, has homered leading off the bottom of the first inning in two of the first four games this season for Double-A Somerset.
Florial hit two homers Friday, following his leadoff shot with a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Three days earlier, Florial homered as the first Yankees batter in Somerset’s history as an affiliate.
He has wasted no time reminding the Yankees of his talent after slipping to the No. 10-rated prospect in the organization, according to MLB.com.
“There were a lot of people in our organization that wanted him to start in Triple-A,” Yankees senior director of player development Kevin Reese said of Florial, according to SI.com. “He did have a really nice alternate-site season last year in our intra-squad games and he performed pretty well against the Phillies up there as well [this spring]. Just kind of taking a step back from the alternative-site world, he had played only I think one game in Double-A and so we just kind of wanted to shift gears back to what would have been normal.”
Florial made his MLB debut last season and picked up a hit against the Mets before he was optioned out of town after one game.
Florial may have the speed and power to become a 30 home run-30 stolen-base player but he had never played at Double-A or Triple-A before this season. At the lower levels, he had 488 strikeouts and only 184 walks in 392 games, showing a tendency to strike out too frequently even by today’s standards of overlooking whiffs.