Patrick Teale

Here's a scouting report on Yankees catching prospect Luis Torrens.

The New York Yankees signed catcher Luis Torrens out of Venezuela for $1.3 million in July of 2012. While the lower level numbers didn't exactly prove it, he had developed into one of the better two-way catching prospects in the farm system until offseason shoulder surgery last year put him on the shelf.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Luis Torrens
Position: Catcher
DOB: May 2, 1996
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 180
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Torrens, not even 20 yet, has all the earmarks of a future high-average hitter and it starts with his unbelievable bat control and plate discipline.  He has one the quickest, compact swings around, and his plate patience is akin to that a seasoned big league veteran.  He simply knows the strike zone better than most and almost always refuses to offer at pitches outside of his desired zone.  Throw in the fact that he's not only willing to use the whole field but uses that same approach game in and game out and the whole package epitomizes that of a natural consistent hitter.  Not exactly a huge physical specimen, while the long-term power potential grades out as more average than anything even ceiling-wise, he does have excellent gap power and projects to be more of a high extra-base hitter than a big home threat.  There's some .300 seasons with a ton of doubles and low double-digit home runs in his future.

Base Running and Speed. Overall Torrens is far from a runner but in terms of catchers he is quicker than most.  He's a mild stolen base threat, meaning he'll swipe just a handful of stolen bases over the course of a season, but he is quite solid running station to station and won't clog up the bases like most catchers.  He's not much of a threat in the base running department but he's far from a liability either.

Defense. As good as he is at hitting [and he is really good] it's on the defensive side of the ball where he absolutely excels amongst his peers.  An exceptional receiver and blocker with one the stronger and more accurate arms at the position [prior to his surgery] while also easily able to build a good rapport with his pitchers, he has virtually no weakness in his defensive game at a very young age.  A premium plus defensive player, the only question mark going forward is how his arm strength will be affected by the torn labrum surgery he had on his throwing shoulder and that will remain a wait and see proposition over the next couple of years.  Even if it downgrades his arm to above average he will still have Gold Glove caliber potential.

Projection. With plus defensive skills, plus hitting ability, solid gap power and average home run potential, and off-the-charts mental makeup, Torrens has always had and still has the ceiling of an everyday big league catcher and perhaps one with All Star potential given his ability to help out his team in a number of ways.  Building his arm strength back up to the plus level it had been prior to his surgery would certainly go a long way towards tapping his considerable potential and given his tremendous work ethic track record it stands to reason that he will be able to get back to that point.  A born leader and possessing the seldom talked about sixth tool [consistency], he's the kind of player a manager wants in the lineup and in the field everyday.  There's a Yadier Molina-like overall quality to Torrens that gives him the potential to be quite special if he can remain healthy long-term.

ETA. 2019. Still just 19 years old, Torrens has just nine long-season league games under his belt and yet at some point he is going to move up the minor league ladder quickly because his game is that advanced in all facets.  He will most likely open up in the long-season leagues in 2016 with the low-A Charleston RiverDogs and could move quickly from there the following year if he remains healthy and productive.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R BB SO SB OBP SLG OPS
2014 Charleston .154 26 0 1 3 4 6 7 0 .353 .269 .622
2014 Staten Island .270 185 13 2 18 27 14 41 1 .327 .405 .732
2014 GCL Yankees .250 16 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 .333 .313 .646
2013 GCL Yankees .241 174 7 1 14 17 27 40 2 .348 .299 .647

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