The New York Yankees have made the call. The Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres is heading to the Bronx.
Torres began his Saturday in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup. He was then pulled and the speculation began on Twitter.
It can’t be a coincidence that Gleyber Torres was removed from today’s Scranton game. My expectation is that he will be with the Yankees tomorrow.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) April 21, 2018
Teammates are surrounding Gleyber Torres in the dugout now. Looks like he might have just found out.— DJ Eberle (@ByDJEberle) April 21, 2018
So, what do you need to know for Gleyber Torres Day?
Torres, of course, if the Chicago Cubs former top prospect. The Cubs used him as the prime piece in the deal that brought Aroldis Chapman to Chicago to help end its 108-year drought. It was a success and shortly after, Chapman returned to the Yankees. Tomorrow, the two will be teammates.
Now 21 years old, Torres came up as a shortstop after the Cubs signed him in 2013 out of Venezuela, widely considered one of the top two prospects in the class. That was the only position he played on the Cubs farm, but shortly after the trade to the Yankees, Torres began displaying his skills all around the infield. With Didi Gregorius quickly becoming one of the best shortstops in the game and Miguel Andujar looking like he’s getting comfortable at third, one can expect that Torres will slip into second base.
Torres made quick work of Double and Triple-A last year as a 20-year-old, vaulting himself into the conversation of the best prospect in the game. He was slashing .309/.406/.457 in his first 23 games at Triple-A and suddenly there were whispers that Torres may see New York for the playoff run. Those dreams came to an abrupt end when Torres tore his UCL in a collision at home plate. His season was done, and there were questions about just how quickly he would return to his elite status.
Age 20, hit combined .287/.383/.480 with 30 walks, 47 strikeouts in 202 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; was on verge of major league promotion when he blew out his non-throwing elbow and had Tommy John surgery; while there may be some rust to work off in the spring, this is unlikely to have any long-term impact on his career; good feel for the zone, projects to hit for both average and power; weakest tool is speed; defensive tools could fit at any of the infield positions; same grade as last year; ETA 2018.
Torres made it look easy. Whatever rust that may have lingered was quickly gone. He slashed .347/.393/.510 in his first 14 games with the RailRiders before he was pulled in Saturday’s game.
His hit-tool is what puts him ahead of the curve, as he will officially be the second youngest player in the big leagues. He has never had big strikeout concerns and when he did, he offset them with high walk rates. Nearly everyone that has watched him at some point in his career notes that his ability to make in-game adjustments and figure out opposing pitchers, especially at his age, is his biggest asset at the plate. His quick swing generates both a high average and decent power to all fields.
While John mentions that speed is his weakest skill, it is still enough to help him in the field. With soft hands and a big arm, he should have the range to excel at any of the three positions. The Yankees have not committed on a position as of this writing, but again, second base has been a weak spot. Torres has played just 14 games at the position, posting a 3.21 range factor and .957 fielding percentage.
Torres has the tools to be a star in the making and to sustain his success for a long time. That does not necessarily mean he will be a stud the second he touches the field. As with any rookie, especially a young one, expect some bumps and bruises. But he has the pedigree to have enough faith that he will right the ship quickly and put up an exciting debut season.