Gleyber Torres — and his swing — is the talk of the Yankees
Gleyber Torres got a standing ovation from the Stadium crowd as he went to the plate for the first time in his major league career Sunday.
The Yankee who has heard almost nothing but boos in The Bronx understands the excitement surrounding the organization’s top prospect.
“He’s gonna be good, man,” Giancarlo Stanton said before Torres went hitless in the Yankees’ 5-1 win over Toronto. “He is good already. He’s gonna prove himself.”
Stanton compared Torres’ swing to the Cubs’ Javier Baez.
“There’s a lot going on, but it’s very precise,” Stanton said. “It’s short, and there’s not that much movement. He’s got some cool action in there and some pop at the end.”
The results weren’t there in his first game, as Torres, working on three hours sleep due to his excitement about getting called up, went 0-for-4, leaving seven runners on base.
But the Yankees didn’t call him up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — optioning Tyler Wade to SWB to make room on the roster — so they could just get a glimpse of Torres.
“He’s earned the right to come up here,” said Neil Walker, who was signed this spring to play second, but has also struggled. “I’m not even hitting my weight.”
“Obviously, I think you all realize how much we value him as a player, short-term certainly and for our future,” Aaron Boone said before the game, adding that he expects Torres to play regularly at second base. “[Bringing him up] is something we’ve had conversations about over the last week, about when would be the right time. We feel like he’s ready, he’s checked all the boxes.”
Afterward, Boone said he liked Torres’ approach at the plate and the way he was able to work counts. But he also said there’s not one particular skill that sets him apart.
“I don’t think there’s anything that’s ‘Wow’ [about him],’’ the manager said pregame. “He’s not going to hit it a mile or wow you with his speed, but he does everything really well on the baseball field. His baseball IQ and baseball clock [are impressive]. He has all the tools. He’s really good defensively at all three positions.”
Stanton had three hits in his 2010 MLB debut with the Marlins.
“The biggest thing is you think it’s a different game or you’ve got to change something because it’s a new level,” Stanton said of the challenge. “It’s just a more precise level. There’s less room for mistakes. I think we all have those moments for the first couple years where you’re still finding yourself, still finding what kind of player you are.”
After a rough spring training at the plate that saw Torres optioned to the minors well before the regular season began, Torres responded by going 17-for-49 with an OPS of .903 in 14 games with SWB.
“Nothing changed,’’ Torres said of his approach. “I just got more at-bats, more time. In the minor leagues, I feel better and better. Every day, I felt more comfortable to start the season.”
Before the game, the 21-year-old was asked if he was ready for the next step: “Yeah,” Torres said. “I’m here.”
The Yankees will find out whether they and their top prospect are right.
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