It had been a long time coming for the New York Yankees and their beloved fan base. The day Yankee fans had been waiting for came and went. Gleyber Torres made his pinstripe debut yesterday in a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Torres was the Yankees prized possession down in the minors and for good reason. In his short period of time in the minors, Torres was hitting .372 with 11 RBI’s and had a .408 on-base percentage. With Neil Walker and Tyler Wade hitting a combined .143, 21 strikeouts, and 7 RBI’s, something…or someone needed to be changed at second base in the Bronx. Coach Aaron Boone had been alternating between these two while mixing in Ronald Torreyes occasionally. Torreyes actually had been the best of the three by a wide margin, hitting .393 with 4 RBI’s and only 3 strikeouts and, until yesterday when Torres was called up, Torreyes seemed to be the solution to the second base woes.
Torres was acquired in a deal where the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in 2016. Following that season, Torres was already regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
In fact, Baseball America is quoted as saying, “He’s an excellent bet to stay at shortstop because of his soft, quick hands and smooth actions around the bag… Evaluators in the Florida State League compared his defensive chops with the Reds’ Zack Cozart. What makes Torres special, however, is his offensive potential. At just 19 years old he already has excellent pitch recognition skills and has shown the ability to sort through breaking pitches in order to get to the fastball he desires…”
However, last season in a play at the plate, Torres suffered his first setback in his career. He slid awkwardly, head-first, into the plate and, while reaching, tore is ulnar collateral ligament (AKA the Tommy John ligament). This led to Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing arm. What is most interesting about Torres is his versatility as many scouts believe he can excel at second or third as well as his primary position of shortstop. Many Yankee fans will argue that had Torres not suffered this injury, he would have easily been the Yankees opening day second or third baseman.
Despite going 0-4 in the game today, there is certain promise in the young infielder. Jack Curry, one of the Yankees main analysts, tweeted the following regarding Torres:
The Yankees have won four of their last six and look to continue winning series against other teams when they take on the Minnesota Twins in a four game set. Considering the injuries that have ridden the Yankees in the early going and lack of production from second base, Torres will provide the Yankees with fresh legs and a boost in production for hopefully years and years to come.
A little tidbit to leave you with: