If you watched the Major League Baseball transaction wires over the last 12 months, you are likely familiar with the name Ronald Torreyes. The infielder has been a real ping-pong ball since last spring with six different teams owning his contract at times. He's finally landed with the New York Yankees and enters 2016 on the 25-man roster as a utility infielder, hitting a two RBI triple in his first at-bat of the year.
So, who is this guy, why did he bounce around so much, and can he stick?
First, from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Ronald Torreyes, 2B-SS, New York Yankees
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 5-7 WT: 150 DOB: September 2, 1992
2011: Grade C+; 2012: Grade C+; 2013: Grade C+; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
Ronald Torreyes racked up the frequent flier miles in 2015 and early 2016. The Astros sold him to the Blue Jays in May, then the Blue Jays sold him to the Dodgers in June. The Dodgers traded him to the Yankees in January 2016, who then put him on waivers. He was claimed by the Angels. Then on February 1st the Yankees claimed him back on waivers. All the bouncing around didn’t change his underlying skill set: he is a line drive contact hitter who seldom strikes out. His range is stretched at shortstop and his arm is stretched at third, but he can play those spots in an emergency. He’s very good at second base. He lacks the tools to excite scouts but could be a viable 25th man under the right conditions. Grade C.
Torreyes hit .279/.295/.326 in 43 spring training at-bats, contributing a walk, five strikeouts, and a pair of stolen bases. Based on his track record, that's exactly what he should be expected to do in a larger sample: hit .270ish with some steals, but without much power and a mediocre OBP. It may be a small sample but the spring training slash line is an exact representation of his true ability.
That may not sound like much but Torreyes adds versatile defense to the mix and teams are always looking for that on the bench. He's still young at age 23, and since he makes contact pretty well there is a chance he could improve his hitting a bit more if he gains some strength as he matures physically.
As the 25th man Torreyes will be on the bubble. Unless and until his bat takes a strong step forward, his fantasy value is limited to a few chip-in steals. He could be in the majors for a decade, however, given his real-world skills.