Analyzing the future of Gleyber Torres
During the 2016 trade deadline, the Yankees made a blockbuster trade sending closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball. The top prospect’s name is Gleyber Torres. Torres, who will turn 21 in December, has been everything the Yankees had hoped for. In just over a year, Torres has proved that Cashman made the correct deal sending Chapman to the Cubs.
|Photo Credit: Barstool Sports|
Unfortunately, an injury in June made Torres miss the rest of the season after getting Tommy John surgery. With rehabilitation going as planned and Torres making a recovery to be back for the 2018 season. The question remains. if we will see him in a Yankees uniform by season’s end.
When Torres was traded to the Yankees, he was assigned to the Tampa Yankees. There, he produced for the rest of the 2016 just as he had with the Cubs. In just 31 games with Tampa, he batted .254 with a pair of home runs and 19 RBIs. It was a small sample size, but a change of scenery could have altered his play slightly.
However, Torres took part in the Arizona Fall League where he was named league MVP after having an unforgettable fall season. Torres played in 18 games where he batted .403 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. One thing that was especially encouraging was that Torres only struck out only eight times in 76 at-bats. When it came to his fielding, he accumulated a fielding percentage right around .960, which for a young player wasn’t all that bad. After earning the MVP of the fall league, expectations were very high for 2017 and Torres.
To start the 2017 campaign, Torres began the season with Trenton where he played 32 games with the club. There, he batted .273 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. Near the end of May, Torres was promoted to Scranton Wilkes-Barre where he really got Yankees fans licking their chops.
In just 96 at-bats with the club, Torres batted .309 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. The downfall was that he had 26 strikeouts. However he made up with those strikeouts by being nearly flawless in the field. Yankees fan were devastated when Torres tore his UCL in a play where he slid head first into home. Many thought that if he hadn’t torn his UCL, he would have been called up to the Yankees a few weeks later.
Torres has put the injury behind him and is looking forward to the 2018 season. He has begun hitting again and projects to be ready for spring training.
|Photo Credit: Cliff Welch|
Within the past year, the Yankees have made Torres a very flexible infielder as they have continued to play him at third base, shortstop and second base. They have mixed it up with a majority of his playing time being at second base. With Todd Frazier’s contract expired and yet to be resigned, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Torres were the next guy in line.
Looking at the other positions, Didi Gregorius is under arbitration until the 2020 where he can then become a free agent. He has been everything but perfect for the Yankees, when he stepped into Derek Jeter’s shoes in 2015. It is expected for the Yankees to offer him a contract extension sooner rather than later. When it comes to second base, Starlin Castro’s contract is not up until 2021 so it is expected for him to be at second base until then unless they explore a trade. That only leaves third base, but when can we expect to see him there?
Coming off an injury like Torres is and being so young, I would expect for the Yankees to take their time with him. I would also expect him to start the season in AA where he can get back into the groove of things before being called up to AAA mid-May. I would then expect Torres to be called up before the trade deadline to the Yankees. The reason for this is because the third base position is most likely going to be filled by Chase Headley, if the Yankees do not resign Frazier. Therefore, there is no real need for a third basemen at this point. When Torres does come up, whoever is the third basemen could go to the designated hitter role. Torres will be an elite major league player but it will take time. Chances are that Torres will make his MLB debut in 2018 and all of us Yankees fans better be ready because he is going to be something special.
Article by: Cameron Hauze