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Thunder outfielder Estevan Florial hits a hard foul ball in his first Double A at bat against the Altoona Curve during game two of the Eastern League Championship Series in Trenton, NJ on September 13, 2017. (Martin Griff)


Florial, Gil Highlight Prospects on Somerset Opening Day Roster

The Yankees on Sunday morning announced their 2021 preliminary opening day rosters for all of their full-season minor league affiliates. The Patriots 29-man roster, which will have to be cut down to 28 active players by first pitch on Tuesday evening, includes two of the Yankees top-10 prospects according to Baseball America in right-handed pitcher Luis Gil (4) and Estevan Florial (10). Both players currently sit on the organizations 40-man roster.

Luis Gil (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Gil, a likely candidate to toe the rubber in the Patriots opener on Tuesday at TD Bank Ballpark, has been pitching at the teams alternate site in Scranton since big league camp broke in late March. The 22-year old hurler spent a majority of his 2019 campaign at then Low-A Charleston before ending the year with three starts at High-A. He combined to go 5-5 with a 2.72 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 96 innings of work spanning 20 starts.

Florial is an ultra-talented prospect that it feels like we have been talking about forever, but somehow has made his major league debut before ever playing a minor league regular season game above the High-A level in five seasons in the system. Still just 23-years old, the outfielder, who predominantly patrols centerfield, is set for his first taste of the minor leagues upper-levels after slashing just .237/.297/.383 with 8 homers and 39 RBI in 74 games at High-A in 2019. Florial received a one game call up on August 28 of last season and went 1-for-3 in his debut against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium.

While Florial has dealt with injuries that have cost him considerable development time throughout his young career, his immense tools have not translated to consistent production when he has been on the field. Having struck out in over 32 % of his career at-bats, the Yankees are hoping to finally see the former top-prospect refine his approach with patience so that he can better utilize his top-notch speed on the base paths. With great power potential, above average speed and fantastic defensive range to go with a strong throwing arm, Florial will certainly be a key name to watch in Somerset this season.

Pitcher Glenn Otto, a 25-year old right-hander that was drafted in the fifth-round by the Bombers in 2017 is another high-ceiling arm that is slated to open in the Somerset rotation in 2021. Ranked as the 28th best prospect in the system by MLB Pipeline, Otto has pitched to a career 2.85 over 28 career appearances, mostly as a starter, while fanning 112 batters in just 91.2 innings.

Glenn Otto (Robert M Pimpsner)

Infielder Dermis Garcia, who has experience playing both first and third base, slugged a Florida State League leading 17 homers in 2019 en route to earning mid and postseason All-Star honors. The 23-year old slugger has struggled to make consistent contact with a .233 career average and .319 career on-base percentage, but brings a powerful bat in the middle of the lineup that has averaged 16 homers and 52 RBI over his last two full-seasons.

The entire Somerset Patriots break camp roster can be found below.


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