Why the Yankees ought to nonetheless be enthusiastic about Gleyber Torres

The 2020 season was, as anticipated, profoundly unusual in some senses. For the Yankees, it featured an unlikely chief residence run chief in Luke Voit, a shocking breakout in Clint Frazier, and a playoff catcher controversy between Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka, amongst different issues.

The shortened season additionally left us with some peculiar slash traces, notably the one belonging to shortstop Gleyber Torres. One yr after smashing 38 residence runs and slashing .278/.337/.535, the younger infielder completed this yr at a measly .243/.356/.368, with solely three dingers in 42 video games. But regardless of the ugly exhibiting and the noticeable drop in slugging share, there are causes to be enthusiastic about Torres’ future with the Yankees, notably in 2021.

For starters, Torres misplaced a number of video games to hamstring and quad strains. Moreover, he turned it on in September after a sluggish begin, as his .259/.377/.466 line and .842 OPS counsel. These aren’t spectacular numbers by his lofty requirements, however they had been encouraging and, finally, an indication of issues to come back: Gleyber was heating up.

In the course of the playoffs, Torres slashed .435/.567/.696 with a .530 wOBA and a 246 wRC+. Granted, the pattern is tiny (simply seven video games), however he hit two round-trippers, stole two bases, scored 5 runs and drove in one other 5. His protection was suspect, as soon as once more, however that’s a problem for one more day, or article.

Strolling his strategy to a profitable profession

By his common season, September, and playoffs numbers, one issues turns into evident to me: Gleyber Torres emerged as a extra prepared walker in 2020, and that’s good news for his future outlook.

The plate self-discipline numbers present that Torres made important strides regardless of his total drop in manufacturing. He trimmed his chase share from 35.1% in 2019 to 25.6% in 2020, virtually ten share factors. That’s spectacular.

Whereas his contact fee remained within the 74% vary, he reduce his swinging strike share (SwStr%) from 13.2% in 2019 to 10.6% in 2020. The conclusion we are able to draw, even when we don’t have an excessive amount of information at hand, will not be solely that Torres improved his plate self-discipline, however he additionally honed his bat-to-ball abilities. Being extra selective on the batter’s field will assist Torres maximize his huge offensive potential and be on the basepaths extra usually, one thing that was missing in his profile final yr.

He was definitely able to posting one thing near the 13.8 BB% he had in 2020, as he routinely surpassed the ten% threshold throughout his time within the minor leagues. This isn’t a mirage, it’s an enchancment with the potential to stay throughout the lengthy haul. In 2019, he had a 7.9 BB%. He additionally lowered his Ok%; final yr, he completed at 21.4%, whereas this season, he was at 17.5%. Sure, the pattern is small in comparison with 2019, however 42 video games should not insignificant.

Make no mistake, regardless of the underwhelming batting line, Gleyber Torres is now a extra affected person and fewer weak hitter, and that’s clearly nice for the Yankees. The sky continues to be the restrict for the slugger.

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