Gleyber Torres Begins His March to Join the 2017 Yankees

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Yankees prospects are scattered throughout the system. Dreaming on prospects is fun but betting on them is hazardous to your wallet because you never know where a player might hit his ceiling. But I’m willing to bet that Gleyber Torres will play his way to the Bronx in the middle of the New York Yankees 2017 season.

The Yankees have one of the best farm systems in baseball, which is like having the best fantasy baseball team in your league. It gives you something to brag about, but it doesn’t help the Boys from the Bronx. And that’s because there are very few sure prospects; Gleyber Torres is one of them.

His exploits and honors over the last six months have been well documented. That was all for show. Now comes the serious work. Now all that remains is to force his way on to the club. But when will that be?

He just started at Double-A. To put his possible time line in perspective, Gary Sanchez arrived at Trenton in 2013 and the Bronx in 2016. That puts Torres in pinstripes sometime around 2020. I doubt it will take that long.

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In fact, I think he arrives this year, and soon. The Yankees Gleyber Torres seems to have that “it” factor, that thing that marks a player out as having more than just talent. He has that big leaguers look about him; baseball’s equivalent of the 1,000-yard stare. And he has it in spades.

So I am going to chronicle that journey as much for me as you. The Yankees have seen at least two real top-tier players come up in Sanchez and Bird, even with Bird’s recent struggles. It’s starting to look like Aaron Judge is in the process of joining that club. Torres is their equal in ability and will be in the lineup soon.

Baby (Bomber) Steps

He took a big step towards the Bronx in his first week of play at Trenton. But to understand how well he did, you have to look across the board and compare his numbers to those of his teammates. Gleyber might get the headlines but every player at Double-A dreams of playing in pinstripes and is at Trenton because he has talent.

The first step towards a promotion is being the best player on the team. And the other players are all playing hard to be that guy.

For instance, Gleyber’s slash is .308/.438/.462. None of those numbers are best on the team. There are four players hitting for a higher average (Estrada, Saez, Bolasky, Zehner). Torres has two doubles, but Mike Ford leads the team with three. Gleyber has eight hits but trails both Zach Zehner and Miguel Andujar, who have nine; he’s also third in runs scored behind the same two men.

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Zehner and Andujar look like better prospects based on those figures. Hopefully, you noticed that, while Torres does not lead in any category, he is always near the top of all of them. None of the other players can say that.

Inside the Numbers

Baseball has a million stats because this simple looking game is more intricate than chess. There are, however, infinitely more ways of helping achieve victory than moving your Queen in any possible way. And it is those numbers that both hide and reveal how good a player is.

Gleyber, for instance, has played SS every game and has no errors; Andujar—at third—has three. Gleyber leads the team with five walks, while Bolasky and Saez have two and Ford has one. Andujar has zero. And Torres has more walks than strikeouts (5/3). Zehner has four walks but seven strikeouts. The unheralded Zehner had a good week, but that last stat is a real red flag.

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Add his 12 hits, fourth on the team, and the fact that one of them is a triple, tying him for the team lead, and we have a clear picture of a player contributing at a high level in almost every facet of the game. Torres is making only positive contributions on the field and not taking away from those with strikeouts and errors.

Oh yeah, Gleyber Torres is on his way to the Bronx in 2017. And it won’t take until September. He took significant steps this week; some weeks will see him take giant steps. But no matter how long it takes Mr. Torres to get here, we will continue to watch him every step of the way. That way, when he gets here, it will feel like we looked at a great Yankees player walk home.