5 Cleveland Guardians that must improve with Steven Kwan out of the lineup

Cleveland Guardians v Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Guardians v Atlanta Braves / Casey Sykes/GettyImages
2 of 6

Estevan Florial

Expecting someone different? Well, you shouldn't. Estevan Florial has seen some time atop the Cleveland Guardians lineup with Steven Kwan sidelined, and he does not have a lot to show for it. With just three hits in 16 at-bats, along with four strikeouts and zero walks, Florial is not shaping up to be a suitable replacement for Kwan at the top of the lineup. Sure, two of his three hits are doubles, and that is helpful, but he is not a leadoff hitter in any way, shape, or form. 

It was not that long ago that Florial was able to have an OPS+ well over 100 thanks to a few home runs hit in a short span. Florial's OPS+ now sits at 91 while he carries a 37.5% strikeout rate, neither being all that encouraging.

Some of the most ardent Florial supporters have pointed out his ability to hit the ball hard as a positive. The problem is he does not make nearly enough contact to warrant the support he has received. There is a scenario where Florial could be somewhat useful, but it does not include being Kwan's leadoff replacement. The only way it would make sense for Florial to see semi-regular at-bats would be by being buried in the bottom third of the order.

It would be a welcome sight for everyone if Florial became the hitter everyone imagined he could be, but that does not seem like it is ever going to happen, and placing him in the leadoff spot is just further exposing the flaws in his hitting profile. The only real explanation for his spot atop the order is that they are trying to give him enough at-bats that they can fully justify cutting ties with him upon Kwan's return. While there is a chance that Florial could change his future for the better with an improved performance at the plate, it does not seem like something that is likely to happen.