Had enough glowing reports about New York Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres yet? Neither have we.
The accolades have been pouring in over the past few months for New York Yankees 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, who was named the MVP of the 2016 Arizona Fall League despite being the second-youngest player participating.
The club’s newest phenom hit .403/.513/.645 with three home runs and four stolen bases in 76 plate appearances, despite facing upper-minors competition for the first time and seeing his first extended professional action at second base.
Torres was a regular on Baseball America’s prospect hot sheet during the AFL’s six-week season, and his red-hot performance surely played a role in him edging out Clint Frazier for the top spot on BA’s 2017 New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects list (subscription required). He also was a clear lock for MLB Pipeline’s All-AFL team.
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It’s been a while since the Yankees had a clear, no-doubt superstar in their system. Recent top prospects like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have had serious questions about their game, whereas Torres seems to get nothing but love from evaluators.
Even notoriously cranky Keith Law of ESPN recently called him a “future star” and a “top ten player in the league.”
As if his impressive stats and tools aren’t enough, Torres has drawn rave reviews for his makeup, work ethic, and the undefinable “it” factor that scouts love to talk about.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently spoke to a National League executive who walked away from Torres completely smitten and willing to invoke one of the most hallowed comparisons in all of sports when discussing Torres:
"He’s got that aura about him. That big league aura. It’s like a confidence you see in very talented players and he’s got it. You never want to compare a shortstop in the Yankees organization to Derek Jeter, but Jeter had that ‘it’ about him at a young age as well."
The Jeter comparison is never a fair one to make one discussing a young Yankees shortstop. That’s too much pressure to put on anyone’s shoulders. At the same time, you can make the case that Torres is actually a better prospect than Jeter was back in the day, with more power and better defense.
A lot would have to break right for Torres’s career to be as successful as The Captain’s. Jeter is a clear first-ballot Hall of Famer with five World Series rings. Still, the fact that Torres is being mentioned in the same breath tells you the kind of impression he’s been making on people since joining the organization.