The Yankees are loaded with talent throughout their lineup but have been missing a star second basemen, since the departure of Robinson Canó in 2013. Gleyber Torres has shown he can be the option for the Yankees, even though he has only played 20 career games. Since Torres joined the team in April, the Yankees have won 17 of their last 20 games. Torres is an all-around productive player and extremely young at 21 years old. Gleyber currently has a .319 batting average, three home runs, 12 RBI’s, and only can improve as he progresses through his rookie season.
Torres coming from Venezuela signed as an international free agent to the Cubs in 2013. He worked his way through the Cubs’ farm system for three years, until along with three other prospects were traded to the Yankees in exchange for reliever Aroldis Chapman. This trade ultimately helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. Yet, they had given up their top prospect in Torres and Chapman re-signed with the Yankees later that offseason.
Torres spent another year in the minors playing for the Tampa Yankees in Advanced-A Florida State League. He finished with a .270 average while hitting 11 home runs and 66 RBI’s. The Yankees assigned him to the Scottsdale Scorpions for Arizona Fall League (AFL) and Torres hit .403 in 76 at bats. Gleyber was named the AFL MVP for his performance and became the youngest player to win the award (19).
Coming into the 2017 season Torres was ranked the fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. Torres hit .448 in spring training and quickly moved through the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A team. He transitioned to the Scranton RailRiders, a Yankees affiliate in Triple-A International League. Unfortunately, his time in Triple-A was short-lived, as he slid into home headfirst and tore a collateral ligament in his left arm. Torres was out for the remainder of the year and required Tommy John surgery. After recovery Gleyber was ranked the fifth-best prospect by MLB.com for the 2018 season and was optioned back to the Scranton RailRiders on March 13th.
The MLB has a rule where teams can retain a rookie for a seventh year of service if they wait to promote them 15 games or more into the start of the season. The Yankees smartly decided to wait for 16 games before they transitioned Torres to the majors, and will get an extra year of service from him. On April 22, the Yankees promoted Torres to play against the Toronto Bluejays and haven’t looked back. Gleyber has made acrobatic plays at second base, been a consistent batter at the nine spot, and even was the youngest player to hit a walk-off home run in Yankees’ history. George A. King III, a New York Post reporter stated, “This past weekend scouts who watched Torres in the field said they saw some of Canó’s traits in him.”
If Torres can anyway resemble the eight-time All-Star, the Yankees will be adding a stud to an already stacked team. Hopefully, he develops into a Canó caliber player and helps lead the Yankees to their 28th World Series title.