After a strong performance in the second game of spring training, the New York Yankees are already seeing what Gleyber Torres’ future has in store.
After going 0-for-1 with a RBI sac fly in Thursday’s spring opener, the shortstop dazzled everyone during his first starting nod of live action with the big boys a day later.
Torres went 2-for-2 with two doubles and a pair of runs scored, both via wild pitches by Phillies’ pitchers on Saturday afternoon. In the third, he doubled on a scorching hot grounder over third base, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Cesar Ramos wild pitch to put New York up 1-0.
Two innings later, he ripped another double but this time, it was down the right field line off Mark Appel. He then scored from second on Appel’s wild pitch that bounced towards the Yankees’ dugout to make it 3-2 New York.
Overall, he turned on a fastball, went the other way with power and used tremendous recognition on the latter wild pitch to realize he was able to swipe home.
Think that’s amazing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Despite losing the second exhibition game, Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi is enthused by not only the performance of Torres on Saturday, but his IQ as well.
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“Just good instincts, aggressive baserunning,’’ Girardi said. “He’s a bright kid that knows how to play the game.’’
This is not the first time Torres is experiencing success while sporting a Yankees’ uniform. At 19-years old, he dominated the Arizona Fall League en route to becoming the youngest MVP in the history of the league. While playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions, he posted a league-best .403 batting average — 50 points higher than the second-best average (Andrew Stevenson, .353).
Torres also led the league in on-base percentage (.513) and OPS (1.158) while representing the Yankees, a team that acquired him in the deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the World Champion Chicago Cubs.
“It’s nice to hear good things said about you, but you’ve got to stay humble and keep working hard. That’s the key here,’’ Torres said.
Even if he overly impresses here in Florida, Torres will start 2017 in Double-A Trenton. If this modern hype renders promptly into that superstar he’s forecasted to become, however, he could make it to the major leagues sooner rather than later.
The presumed starting shortstop Didi Gregorius will head out to play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Torres, despite being told he’ll be donning a Thunder jersey to open the regular season, will be given innings and at-bats that aren’t customarily given to kids that aren’t expected to earn an opening day roster spot.
Enough to convince the Yankees to make room for him on the 25-man? Probably not. But Torres has already started to have an emphatic impression on his major league coaches in live action just like he had last fall.
“The best thing I can accomplish this spring is to gain experience and being able to mature, learn from teammates,” Torres said. “Because this is a unique opportunity.’’