Yankees: On Why Gleyber Torres Best Season Is Really His Worst

Yankees Gleyber Torres needs a breather (USA Today)

The Yankees and they’re doing him no favors, are living with the defensive woes of Gleyber Torres at shortstop. But his bat is another matter.

The Yankees acquired Gleyber Torres from the Chicago Cubs with Rashad Crawford (minors), Billy McKinney, and Adam Warren going to the New York Yankees for Aroldis Chapman at the trade deadline in 2016, everyone laughed, saying huh?

But the Cubs maybe got the last laugh when they won their first title in umpteen years, even though the Yankees signed Chapman as a free agent in the ensuing off-season.

Whatever the case, Torres was the key player in the trade for the Yankees. Resistant to the end amid fervent cries from Yankees fans dying to see Torres in the Bronx, the team delayed promoting Torres until mid-season in 2018.

At the cool age of 21, Torres whetted the appetite of the Yankees batting .271, .340 OBP. with 24 home runs, 77 RBI, and a .820 OPS.

The following season in 2019, Torres had a “breakout” season for the Yankees, highlighted by 38 home runs, 90 RBI, and an increase to a .871 OPS.

Wow, said many of us who remembered a similar trajectory by Didi Gregorius, what’s next?

Yankees: Is Gleyber Torres Not Listening?

Alas, as many Yankees fans know, Gleyber Torres is on a downward spiral that has seen his batting average over the next two years reduced to .242, and a total of nine HR’s, 49 RBI, and an OPS around .700, putting him below the major league average of .712 this year.

Marcus Thames, Yankees Hitting Coach (Photo: Twitter)
Marcus Thames, Yankees Hitting Coach (Photo: Twitter)

Forget the defense and his 13 errors this year at shortstop. The real question is, where has the offense from Gleyber Torres disappeared to? (all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference)

I would point to Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames to answer for Gleyber’s (now) two-year slide, but maybe he’s preaching to deaf ears. Here’s a fact, though.

Gleyber Torres is playing on a team where his peers like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, and Gary Sanchez are revered and paid for their ability to hit balls into the night air that goes into orbit before they land.

In short, Gleyber Torres needs to be Derek Jeter instead of Judge and company on this or any other Yankees team.

At 6’1″ 205 lbs, Torres comes nowhere near the bulk and natural strength of Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez.

So, it follows that Torres must have purposively tried to hit those 38 home runs.

To his credit and showing the ability to do anything he sets as a goal for himself – he did it – to the point where he led everyone on the Yankees in home runs in 2019.

Gleyber Torres: Be More Like DJ Than Giancarlo

Now, if Gleyber Torres doesn’t know it, I’m here to tell him his future with the Yankees will set him for life, but it all depends on becoming more like DJ LeMahieu than Giancarlo Stanton.

Aaron Boone Loves DJ LeMahieu (Photo: Newsday)
Yankees Aaron Boone Loves DJ LeMahieu (Photo: Newsday)

More strikeouts than base on balls (67-39) and grounding into seven double plays, rather than striving for situational hitting, is not what the team needs from Gleyber Torres.

While the Yankees have raved about the work ethic of Torres, especially the endless hours he puts in to improve in the field, the question only he can answer is if he is willing to put in the same time to change his style of hitting.

Once thought of as an “untouchable”, Torres is no longer that, and if the right deal comes along to obtain a quality starter, Cashman will pull the plug and trade him.

The Yankees, of course, would rather not do that, especially when they are looking at a player who is only 24 and with all the “potential” still attached to his name.

While Torres doesn’t appear to be thick and stuck in his ways if Marcus Thames can’t get through to Torres, the Yankees need to bring someone in who can.

Or, in place of that, appoint someone like LeMahieu or Brett Gardner as his full-time mentor with firm instructions to Torres – “Listen, or else.”

Yankees: How Long Can They Wait?

The change has to begin now because the Yankees need more from Torres now than he is giving.

All reports indicate “he’s a good kid,” but when you play for the New York Yankees, that only goes so far, and…

If the Yankees aren’t looking to Torres for more, they should be.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Jl Lofty no hustle down to first last night?? losing ballplayer and he needs to go

Anthony Williamson A product of the juiced balls and now refuses to adjust his swing

Christian Pryor I don’t understand it. If Gary can adjust and get rid of his leg kick, Torres needs to do the same. Smh he was a doubles hitter when he came up, now he tries to hit 40 hrs

Michael Franklin There’s something else going on there🤔 The thought occurred to me as well.

Gary Palmer In 2019 we used to hear Paul O’Neil gush about how Torres had the ability to adjust his swing during an at-bat and how unusual that was for such a young hitter. You don’t see that anymore. The opposing pitcher seems to always have the upper hand the entire at-bat. What’s changed? Approach? Confidence? Mechanics? No matter what, it’s up to the coaches to straighten him out. The defense, well in my humble opinion he’s a 2nd baseman playing out of position at SS despite the fact he came up as a shortstop.

Emil E. HernandezGrowing Pains… He Was on Fire 🔥Everyone Loved Him… You Take The Good With The Bad… That’s just The Way It is… Some People have No Patience….

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

With this, we’ll close published comments for this article.

Readers are unanimous in thinking Torres must be moved to second base. This means, of course acquiring a shortstop allowing DJ to play first-base. Trevor Story…

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.