Name: Gleyber Torres
DOB: December 13, 1996
Batting and Power. Torres has the kind of hitting presence that is quite palpable and really stands out. He exudes confidence in the batter's box more than most and it's consistent; it never wavers. He is so calm and he never, ever gets rattled, boasting a professional aura when hitting that is mature way beyond his years and it's because he knows how to hit. Not only is the swing short and the bat speed plus, he is extremely adept at using the whole field when he hits and has an innate knack for barreling the baseball with the best of them. It is that ability to consistently find the sweet spot that his power, despite being just 20 years old, already projects safely as average [at minimum] to most likely above average when it's all said and done. Throw in advanced pitch recognition and solid plate patience, and the whole package screams high-average hitter eventually too.
Base Running and Speed. Torres' speed is more average than the stolen base totals at the minor league level thus far suggests and given his thicker lower-half it stands to reason that stealing bases may not be a big part of his game long-term. He is a very intelligent base runner and he can be very aggressive at times, especially taking the extra base on would-be doubles and triples, but the speed overall is merely average and it's a big reason why he gets caught stealing a little more often than he should. He projects to be more of a lower double-digit stolen base threat initially at the big league level with the speed production most likely waning as he gets older.
Defense. Just like his hitting, Torres is one of the most consistent defenders around. Physically none of the tools stand out as plus beyond his arm strength though, most notably the range. His average speed gives him more solid range defensively than spectacular at shortstop but the internal game clock is akin to that of a big league veteran and he makes every head's up play possible. He knows where to place himself pre-pitch and he knows where to go with the ball in every play. The arm strength is above average to borderline plus, more than enough to handle third base, and it's a big reason why he is slated to receive playing time there too. He also plays a solid second base. In fact, it's second base and third base [in that order] where he projects to be the better defender long-term given the fact that the speed/range will most likely erode as he gets older. Bottom line? He's a solid, solid shortstop with the chance to be plus at second base, and perhaps even third with more experience.
Projection. Torres is a natural born hitter, period! He has an ability to be extremely consistent not only hitting but getting on base and he rounds out his offensive game with safe, projectable power. Given his gap to gap propensities he projects to be a high doubles hitter with solid home run power to all fields, the kind of hitter that could and really should eventually find his place into either a number two or three spot in a big league order someday. While it's his offensive game that has the chance to stand out he also has solid defensive abilities at more than one position too. In fact, given his sky-high mental makeup and tremendous work ethic, the kind of intangibles that are key ingredients to team captains, he could develop into a solid defensive starting player at a number of positions at the big league level, giving the Yankees numerous options. It is because of that positional flexibility, solid average running ability, and advanced bat that he often gets compared to former organizational-mate and current Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez. Like Baez, a former shortstop prospect who played third before settling in at second base, Torres could be an offensive stalwart, albeit Torres has the chance to be the better and higher on-base guy.
ETA. 2018. Still just 20 years old [and will remain 20 for the entire 2017 season], the fact is Torres isn't far off from being big league ready right now. In fact, a strong argument could be made he is ready. However, given his youth and lack of upper-level experience the Yankees are afforded the opportunity to take their time with him. He should get a full minor league season in this year and be ready for prime time in 2018, but don't discount the potential of a late-season September call-up in 2017 if he continues to hit well this season.