Gleyber Torres is coming off a monster campaign. However, 2020 brings even higher expectations as he moves back to his natural shortstop position for the New York Yankees.
When you look at the level of production that Yankees star Gleyber Torres put forth in 2019, it’s hard to believe that he finished 17th in AL MVP voting. I mean, how many 22-year-olds compile a .871 OPS, 38 home runs, and 90 RBIs in 144 games?
Although the now 23-year-old Torres played 77 games at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovered from Tommy John surgery last season — Didi signed with the Phillies this winter, which means Torres will slide back to his natural shortstop position.
Speaking with Brendan Kuty of NJ.com at the 40th annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, Torres said that he has prepared extremely well this offseason in order to help his team do even better in 2020.
“I heard too many things like, I have to be better defensively… I’m excited. I’m really comfortable at second base, too. I learned a lot about that position. But like I said, I’m back to my position, I feel a little more comfortable. It’s very simple. I don’t feel pressure or anything. I just want to play my game and try to win games.”
As the captain of the infield, Torres will look to capitalize on his newfound responsibility while limiting mistakes in the field (11 errors at short in ’19) and driving in runs from the middle of the Yankees lineup. Torres batted either fourth, fifth or sixth in 96 contests last season.
If you’re into projections, then you’ll be interested to know that ‘The Shredder,’ which is the program that the MLB Network uses to calculate a player’s potential output, ranks Torres as the No. 7 shortstop in baseball heading into 2020.
Entering just his third professional season, this is Torres’ debut on the list — and is ranked behind the likes of Trevor Story, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts, and Fernando Tatis Jr. (in that order).
After Torres, ‘The Shredder’ named Jorge Polanco, Carlos Correa, and Paul DeJong to round out the top 10 shortstops in the game.
Diving further into the projections, Baseball Reference predicts the two-time Yankee All-Star to produce a .279/.344/.524 slash with 32 home runs, 85 RBIs, and a 124:47 K:BB ratio across 550 plate appearances.
Fangraphs’ ‘Steamer’ projections put Torres at a .272/.339/.509 slash with 34 homers, 98 RBIs and a 128:54 K:BB ratio in 618 plate appearances.
Honestly, you have to take these projections with a grain of salt. Sure, they’re fun to debate, but what’s more important, as Torres recently told the NY Post, is the outcome of the upcoming season.
“I don’t think about hits, homers, anything about me. I just want to win the World Series.”