Predicting the New York Yankees’ Next “Core Four”
Any young shortstop who dons the pinstripes over the next few decades is going to be compared to the legendary Captain. Didi Gregorius got the worst of it when he took over following Jeter’s retirement, but when the next wave of young shortstops make it to the show, that is the unfair standard they will be measured against.
If any of this next generation has the ability to fill Jeter’s big shoes, it is Gleyber Torres, the 19-year-old sensation who just won the 2016 Arizona Fall League MVP award despite being the second-youngest player participating.
Torres recently earned his first of many Jeter comparisons from a National League executive who told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
"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."
As crazy as it sounds to compare a teenager to a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, there are plenty of similarities between Torres and Jeter. Like Jeter, Torres is an offense-first shortstop with who hits the ball to all fields, has a little pop, a little speed, and a polished approach at the plate. He’s not going to win any Gold Gloves, but is athletic enough to remain at the position long-term.
As a 19-year-old in High-A , Torres put up a .270/.354/.421 slash line with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases, numbers that would be right at home on Jeter’s Baseball-Reference page. Derek made his big league debut at age 21, which sounds about right for Torres as well with him beginning his age 20 season with Double-A Trenton.