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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #13: Luis Torrens

The Yankees have seemed to have an abundance of catching depth over the past few seasons thanks to the likes of Austin Romine, J.R Murphy and Gary Sanchez. One catching prospect who turned heads in his first season of pro ball but has since fallen off the map is 19 year old Luis Torrens. Now recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Torrens will look to pick up where he left off.
Photo Via MILB.com
The Yankees signed the 6 foot backstop out of Venezuela in 2012 to a $1.3 million signing bonus when he was just 16 years old. Torrens was originally an infielder, but the Yankees had him make the transition to catcher.

In 2013, Torrens had his first taste of the minor leagues where he was a member of the Gulf Coast Yankees. In 47 games, the Venezuelan produced a slash line of .241/.348/.299 while collecting 42 hits and 14 RBI’s. While he had modest production with the bat, it was his arm that impressed, as he threw out a fantastic 45% of runners attempting to steal.

The Yankees liked his production and in 2014 he was sent to the Yankees Single-A Affiliate, the Charleston Riverdogs, where he played only 9 games as a result of a shoulder strain. After rehabbing his shoulder, Torrens was reassigned to the Staten Island Yankees, where he played for the remainder of the season. Torrens’ bat came alive as in 48 games the righty had 50 hits and 18 RBI’s. Unfortunately for Torrens, he had to have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder that would force him to miss all of the 2015 season.

When it comes down to it, Torrens has the tools to be a successful major leaguer. He hits for contact which is great for a catcher and will eventually become more of a power hitter. His arm is probably his greatest attribute behind the dish, as he has quickly developed a quick transfer while maintaining accuracy. The potential issue with Torrens and his future is the health of his shoulder, as he has already had two major injuries to it. However, he should be able to rebound in the upcoming season and pick up where he left off. He’ll begin the 2016 season as a member of the Charleston Riverdogs.

You can check out all of Torrens’ minor league stats here.
You can keep up with our full top 30 list with links to our breakdowns HERE.

Article: Phil Akre
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