Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity, to see Estevan Florial, would you capture it? Or just let it slip?
Estevan Florial is a prospect who has generated a lot of internal discussion this season. From very early in the season, the Haitian-Dominican with a colorful signing history was the talk behind the backstop in the Sally League, a sleeper waking up after a tough 2016. Florial kept on keeping on after a midseason promotion to the High-A Florida State League, and after Hurricane Irma prematurely ended the FSL playoffs, the Yankees bumped him to Double-A Trenton to experience the Eastern League playoffs.
Florial wasn’t even on the active roster for the Division Series against Binghamton, and while he was activated before the Championship Series, he was not expected to play a significant role. He didn’t appear at all in Game 1, but as I was entering the park Wednesday night, he was on the lineup card, hitting eighth and playing left field. After briefly expressing my excitement on Twitter, I refreshed the information at my disposal about Florial and settled in to watch his pregame warmup.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Suspensions are coming and the Yankees may be very short-handed in their playoff push.
Many people can name two songs by the band Fastball. I can name somewhere nearer a dozen. Too slow on the uptake to just start loading up on electronic music downloads in high school, I bought a whole bunch of CDs just to get my hands on a couple of songs. I wanted “The Way,” so I bought Fastball’s whole greatest hits album.
Buried somewhere in there is a song called “Are You Ready for the Fallout?”, which I think ended up on the soundtrack to Varsity Blues. It's not a good song, but at this moment, it could be dancing through the heads of Yankees fans (of some very specific age). It's sung to an unnamed friend whom the singer believes is destroying themselves by going through life with way too much bile on their tongue and too many scrapes on their knuckles.
Playing your best against the best and your worst against the worst.
Through Saturday's games, the Pirates were a disappointing 53-57, good for only fourth in the National League Central, 5.5 games behind the finally-getting-their-act-together Cubs. They trailed the Diamondbacks by 10.0 games for the second Wild Card, with NL Central rivals Milwaukee and St. Louis ahead of them and Miami and Atlanta only 1.0 and 1.5 games behind, respectively. The team looks headed for another season with a losing record.
And that’s reflected by its record against weak teams. The Pirates are 26-33 against teams with losing records. Only the cellar-dwelling Giants, Phillies, White Sox, and A’s have a worse record against losing teams. And that makes sense; if you can’t beat up on the weaklings, you’re not going to play in the postseason.
Is Tommy Kahnle the next Grant Balfour or the next Michael Wuertz?
Without the browbeating effect of staring my own written words in the face—whoa, whoa, do you want to say this?—I occasionally release into the world a statement that is, let’s say, not wholly considered. So it was that I boldly questioned a friend—a Yankees fan—about his favorable evaluation of the recent trade for Tommy Kahnle.
The breakout White Sox reliever’s remaining team control may or may not have made him the most expensive part of the deal in which the Yankees also acquired David Robertson and Todd Frazier, while jettisoning human heart palpitation Tyler Clippard.
On the 17th episode of the DFA Podcast, Bryan, special guest Ben Diamond, and Shawn Brody discuss three big deals that are helping shape the 2017 playoff push. The Yankees pick up three pieces, the Nationals grab two, and the Diamondbacks just get one; how did each team do?
It's Baseball Prospectus's newest podcast: DFA! Host Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus), co-host R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), and producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets) are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are towering over baseball as rookies.
Two of the first half's top stories were the power-hitting pillars of two of the league’s flagship franchises. Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have captured the national imagination, and—with the Rookie of the Year trophies almost surely already engraved—they might just capture their league’s MVP awards come November. They’re the perfect new faces for the sport, at least for this part of this season—a spring marked by skyrocketing home run rates, questions about the ball being juiced, and a wave of young talent not only supernally talented, but also impossibly big, strong, and fast.
These are two towering sluggers, but they’re less unusual in that way than they might have been a decade ago, and certainly less so than they would have been in the 1980s or earlier. In fact, the six-foot-seven Judge and the six-foot-four Bellinger are just the latest in a line of very tall power hitters who have been taking over the game in recent seasons. Miguel Sano, Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, and Carlos Correa all are at least six-foot-four. For most of baseball history, conventional wisdom has held that guys with such long levers were too vulnerable strikeouts, too exploitable, too disadvantaged by the larger strike zone with which opposing pitchers could work. That conventional wisdom, to the extent that it’s not retroactively disproven by these superstar sluggers, seems to be eroding. I want to talk about why, and what it can tell us about the game.