Gleyber Torres had a sub-par season. His bat woke up in the ALDS, but overall he slid backward, especially in the field. A blip or a trend?
Gleyber Torres has Hall of Fame written all over his Yankees pinstripes. But something seemed “off” with him this year, both on offense and defense.
Moved from second base to shortstop after the Yankees strangely refused to keep Didi Gregorius in the fold, Torres made nine errors, mostly on throws, leading to an underwhelming .933 fielding percentage.
Drilling deeper into the analytics, it gets even worse. In the category, Defensive Runs Saved, zero is the major league average. Gleyber Torres registered a -34 this year, even worse than 2019, when he received a -26 rating.
An elite athlete, Gleyber Torres, at 6’1″, 205 lbs, is blessed with the perfect body type for baseball, which is why his defensive woes are troubling – because if it ain’t physical, it’s a mental set of circumstances that need to be fixed.
Offensively, Gleyber Torres never got anything going until the postseason, where he hit well against Cleveland and Tampa Bay, collecting 10 hits in 30 tries with seven base-on-balls.
The two home runs Torres hit was just shy of the three he hit during the entire 2020 regular season, in which he batted .243, thirty points below his career average.
Unlike his fielding, which has been a red light throughout his career, it can be surmised that Gleyber Torres just had a bad year with the bat.
Gleyber Torres And The Hype
Gleyber Torres was never asked if he wanted to be the Yankees next Derek Jeter.
Tagged with that label from the moment he arrived in a trade engineered by Brian Cashman from the Chicago Cubs, Gleyber Torres can’t control what others think or believe regarding his “Sky’s The Limit” rush to the Hall Of Fame – Just like Jeter.
Consider, though, that Gleber Torres will be playing the 2021 season at age twenty-four. At age 24, Derek Jeter batted .324, led the league in runs scored with 127, and finished third in the MVP voting (1998).
The following year at age 25, Jeter led the league in hits (219), batting .349 with 102 RBI.
If this proves anything, all it says is Gleyber Torres has a ways to go before he is anywhere near Jeter.
But it’s also true that Torres has a long career ahead of him, and pre-judgments good or bad, are wildly premature.
Feel The Pressure, Gleyber Torres
Gleber Torres appears to be a young man whose feet are firmly planted on the ground. Torres met his long-time girlfriend, Elizabeth, in his hometown of Caracas in 2014. They were married in April 2017.
On his own, Gleyber Torres is committed and studying hard to learn English as his second language. He looks for opportunities to practice when speaking with the media, and when he stumbles, he smiles and moves ahead.
Always his player’s biggest cheerleader, Yankees manager Aaron Boone had this to say following a game in August in which Torres made two errors on routine plays:
“I think he’s doing well overall,” Boone said after the game via Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. “He’s had a couple of hiccups game-wise that kind of have dinged him statistically.”
Still, it might not hurt for Boone to turn up the volume a bit with Torres, if only to remind Torres he is a key part of the Yankees team.
Torres Can Take It, Unlike Someone Else, We Know
Aaron Boone has taken the same tact with Gary Sanchez, but it’s like talking to a brick wall. Boone has played good cop while ex-Yankees manager Joe Girardi played a bad cop with Sanchez, once confronting him in the dugout for being lazy behind the plate.
For whatever reason, Gary Sanchez is not “getting it,” and if his tenure with Yankees isn’t over, it should be.
Pushing Gleyber Torres is not likely to produce a bad outcome.
Whether or not Boone will do it is another question, of course. But hopefully, Boone has something he’s dreaming up for Torres in 2021.