One of the top prospects on the 2014 international market, Florial was banned from signing for one year by MLB after it discovered he had assumed the identity of Haniel de Oleo while registering for school in the Dominican Republic. After he produced a Haitian birth certificate with a slightly different birthdate, the Yankees signed him in March 2015 for $200,000, far less than he would have received without the controversy. He has the best all-around ability in the system but has been undermined by an aggressive approach at the plate, and losing at-bats because of injuries to his right hamate (2018) and wrist (2019) hasn't helped.
With his bat speed and the loft in his left-handed stroke, Florial generates well above-average raw power to all fields. But he's still learning to recognize pitches and gets too pull-happy, resulting in too many swings and misses and concerns about how effective he'll be against big league pitching. He posted the worst walk (8 percent) and strikeout (33 percent) rates of his pro career during his shortened 2019 season after making progress in both areas the year before.
If he can improve his on-base ability and refine his basestealing acumen, Florial has the plus speed to become a 30-30 threat. His quickness and instincts allow him to chase down balls from gap to gap in center field, while his arm strength gets plus-plus grades from some scouts. He's an asset at any of the three outfield positions, though there's no reason he'd have to move from center.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 65 | Arm: 65 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Assuming the identity of Haniel de Oleo when registering for school in the Dominican Republic, Florial emerged as one of the top prospects on the 2014 international signing market, but MLB banned him from signing for one year after discovering the discrepancy. After he produced a Haitian birth certificate with a slightly different birthdate, the Yankees signed him in March 2015 for $200,000, a fraction of what he would have earned without the controversy. He quickly established that he had the best all-around tools in the system, though his development was slowed by right hamate surgery that cost him two months last summer and will be again after he broke his right wrist when he crashed into the center-field wall during Spring Training.
Florial excites scouts with three tools that grade as well above average: his raw power, speed and arm strength. With the bat speed and loft in his left-handed swing, he's well equipped to take advantage of Yankee Stadium. He's still raw and overly aggressive as a hitter, leading to concerns about whether he can make enough contact to realize his full potential, though he did post the best walk rate (13 percent) and second-best strikeout rate (25 percent) of his career during his truncated 2018 season.
Florial also has a lot to learn about basestealing, though if he puts everything together he could become a 30-30 player. He's improving as a defender in center field and should be an asset there in the big leagues. His cannon arm will fit anywhere he's needed.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 70 | Arm: 65 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Florial assumed the identity of Haniel de Oleo when registering for school in the Dominican Republic, then emerged as one of the top prospects for the 2014-15 international signing period. When MLB discovered the discrepancy, it barred him from signing for one year and he landed with the Yankees in March 2015 after producing a Haitian birth certificate with a slightly different birthdate. His $200,000 bonus -- a fraction of what he would have commanded without the controversy -- looks like a bargain because he has the best all-around tools in New York's deep system.
Florial has three tools that grade as well above average in his raw power, speed and arm strength. With the quickness and loft in his left-handed stroke, he's built to do a lot of damage at Yankee Stadium. The only question he has to answer is whether he can tone down his aggressive approach and make consistent contact after posting a 31 percent strikeout rate last season and a 36 percent mark in the Arizona Fall League. He lost some needed at-bats and development time when he had surgery on his right hamate in mid-May, a procedure that kept him out until July.
While his swing-and-miss issues mean there's a wide gap between his ceiling and floor, Florial doesn't have to hit for high average to help a team win. He's as raw on the bases as he is at the plate, but his double-plus speed could make him a 30-30 player if he adds the necessary polish. While he's still learning in center field as well, he should be able to stick there and his arm is a weapon anywhere in the outfield.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 65 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Then known as Haniel de Oleo, an identity he assumed when registering for school in the Dominican Republic, Florial emerged as one of the top prospects in the 2014-15 international signing period. When MLB uncovered the discrepancy, it declared him ineligible for one year. After producing a Haitian birth certificate with a slightly different birthdate, he signed with the Yankees in March 2015 for $200,000, perhaps one-tenth of what he would have received if not for the controversy.
Florial didn't post big numbers in his 2016 U.S. debut, batting .225/.315/.364 in Rookie ball at age 18, but he still displayed some of the loudest tools in New York's system. Lean and athletic, he has well above-average raw power and arm strength as well as plus speed. A left-handed hitter built for Yankee Stadium, he uses the entire field but will need to temper his aggressive approach after striking out in 28 percent of his plate appearances last year.
Florial knows how to use his speed, already showing some basestealing savvy and taking direct routes in center field. He also would easily fit the profile in right field if needed. The Yankees love his makeup as much as his physical gifts and are confident he'll get the most out of his considerable offensive ability.