The Yankees’ bad injury luck continued this weekend, this time with Estevan Florial hitting the shelf. The team announced that he suffered a non-displaced right wrist fracture after crashing into the outfield wall during Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays. He is expected to undergo further tests on Monday.
Florial, 21, missed significant time last season with a hamate fracture in his right wrist. That’s two significant wrist injuries in as many years. It took the center fielder several months to recover and shake off the rust, as he posted a middling .255/.354/.361 in 339 plate appearances in the minors last year. His struggles continued in the Arizona Fall League, where his OPS dropped to a woeful .554.
The center fielder hit the ground running in camp this year, however, batting .355/.429/.516 in 31 at-bats. He hit a home run and stole five bases, too. His performance excited fans and put some energy back into his stock.
The consensus top prospect in the Yankees’ farm system, Florial earned lofty praise from evaluators within the organization. Willie Randolph recently said that the center fielder “reminds me of a young Bernie Williams.” The front office also repeatedly considered him off limits in trade talks this winter, even for a bona fide starter.
One has to hope that this represents just a speed bump in Florial’s season. That said, wrist injuries are tricky. They linger and have a reputation for sapping power. Pinstripe Alley will stay on top of this situation and update as needed.