New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres made a costly faux pas in the field towards the end of what was a 3-2 extra-inning loss against the Boston Red Sox last Sunday night. But, with where the Bronx Bombers are in the AL East standings, they'll surely forgive him quickly if his bat remains a threat.
Entering Tuesday’s Subway Series matchup with the New York Mets, Torres had slashed .220/.270/.322 over his last 15 games. During this same time span, the Venezuelan-born infielder also recorded four walks, two home runs, and three RBI.
While these numbers are not “elite” marks, it’s important to remember that the Yankees’ lineup is currently dealing with a number of injuries while also attempting to work players such as Giancarlo Stanton back into the fray. Torres has had to take on increased responsibility as a result, and may ultimately benefit from the return of other key bats. Still, though, even considering his recent downturn, he's one of the team's top power threats, something they can hardly stand to sacrifice when they actually uncover it.
Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres provides too much offense to sacrifice
Holistically, there are certainly things to like about Torres’ approach. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks in the 92nd percentile for strikeout percentage, the 70th percentile for whiff percentage, and the 70th percentile for xSLG. The chosen statistics should give fans and critics confidence that regardless of outcomes, Torres has found consistency in terms of his approach.
His low K% and Whiff% illustrate that, at the very least, he’s seeing the ball well and avoiding balls out of the zone. Given that Torres has attempted to find a balance between being a contact and power hitter, this should be seen as an encouraging sign that he’s finally comfortable being “himself” at the plate.
Over the course of his career, many, including Torres himself, have questioned the kind of hitter he is. After making a multitude of adjustments and eventually embracing a more “built” physique, it seems as though the 26-year old now understands he’s not made to hit for pure contact or pure power. Instead, he provides flashes of both while accepting that mixed results are simply a part of his skill set.
It’s precisely this acceptance that could also help Torres and the Yankees as the summer goes on. While he’s clearly susceptible to rough stretches, his strategy also allows for periods of top-notch production that could be jump started as the Pinstripes slowly but surely get healthy.