After his historic Arizona Fall League season, Gleyber Torres is a blossoming star
Let’s play everyone’s favorite game, guess that Arizona Fall League player!
Player A: .281 BA, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB
Player B: .245 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB
Player C: .364 BA, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB
Player D: .403 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB
Player A is the reigning NL rookie of the year, Corey Seager. Player B is AL MVP and all-world talent Mike Trout. Players C is newly crowned MLB champ and NL MVP Kris Bryant. Player D is Yankees' red-hot prospect Gleyber Torres. Pretty good company, eh?
Torres came to New York as part of the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs just before the trade deadline. At just 19-years-old, he was recently crowned the youngest MVP in Arizona Fall League history. His batting average was 50 points higher than his closest competitor, and he led the league in OPS (1.158) and on-base percentage (.518), and finished second in slugging (.645). That’s incredibly impressive considering most of us at 19 are worried about failing our biology final or how we are going to convince someone to buy us a case of beer.
It is really hard to comprehend how unbelievable Torres’ numbers are without putting them into context using others superstars past stats. Also, what needs to be clear is the competition level in the AFL. Torres is not putting up these numbers against late round draft picks with no MLB ambitions. The majority of the league is made up of AA and AAA players coupled with lower level uber-talents and a handful of international signees. Some notable arms in the league include Michael Kopech (Boston RHP #67 prospect overall), Francis Martes (Houston RHP #29 prospect overall), and Brent Honeywell (Tampa RHP #39 prospect overall), just to name a few.
Other than his age, what is most impressive about Torres is his outstanding pitch recognition and patience at the plate. In 62 at-bats Torres only had eight strikeouts, coupled with 14 walks. It is rare to see a young talent with such an unbelievable ability to make contact, and get on base. Torres is also a strong defender at a priority position – shortstop. The Yankees will have the opportunity to bring Torres along and could use him in a similar that the Cubs have utilized Javier Baez. He doesn’t encompass the power ceiling that Baez has, but what he lacks in power he makes up in average and propensity to get on base. He could serve as Joe Girardi’s swiss army knife on defense, spelling both middle infielders and possibly even the third base and corner outfield positions.
As we all know, there is no such thing as a sure thing in baseball. Hell, you know another Yankee who won the AFL MVP? Eric Duncan. Yes, that Eric Duncan. Regardless, Gleyber’s upside is high and he certainly thus far has lived up to the expectation of being the among the organization’s top prospects. Keep an eye on this guy as the Yankees may test him to start in Double-A Trenton as he continues to develop into a young star.
Article by: Jesse Bartley