Torres will spend the entire 2018 season at the age of 21. The hope is that he will also spend the entire season in pinstripes.
Gleyber sports a minor league career slash of .282/.360/.416. That shows real promise for a young player. But even more so does his line from last year: .287/.383/.480.
That marks the second time in his four year career that Torres has reached at least a .383 OBP. Of more significance, it hopefully shows a young player close to finishing his development.
The Yankees will soon find out. Gleyber will enter Spring Training with an infield position his to lose. And the lead-off spot in the order. If he plays as he is capable of, as he did in the Arizona Fall League, for instance, he will become the Yankees most consistent run batted in.
One Step Up
And that’s for two reasons. One, if he can post a slash of .403/.513/.645 over the six weeks of spring training, as he did for the six weeks of the 2016 AFL, then he will force his way not only on the team but also to the top of its order.
Two, Aaron Boone does not seem as married to some conventions as Joe Girardi was. Joe would have had a very difficult time putting a rookie in the number one hole. It is more likely that Joe started Gardy at the top and Gleyber at nine to begin the season.
That approach can save a young player. But it can also needlessly hamstring an offense when a player doesn’t need the protection. Torres strikes me as the type of who rises to reach the spotlight and burying him probably serves the team ill.
That alone could create a very high OBP tandem of Torres and Judge. The Yankees, however, probably want Bird to hit number two next year.
But right now, Bird remains a player the team is more hopeful of than counting on.