Lineup construction is very important in Major League Baseball, especially in a team like the New York Yankees, with hitters so good and with so diverse traits that accomodating where they fit best is crucial.
Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ shortstop, is young and talented, and that is no secret. However, most of the lineup is also very good at hitting the baseball and getting on base. Where does the Venezuelan infielder fit best in the batting order?
Batting leadoff shouldn’t be an option given that the New York Yankees have other, better options for that spot.
While he hit 38 home runs in 2019 and has 62 already in his short career, Gleyber registered a .337 OBP last season, which is far from elite. That means the Yankees should consider other players for the second and third spots in the order, such as Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton, just to name a few. All of them are more willing to take a walk and their on-base percentage skills would be maximized in front of guys like Torres, with prodigious power but lower OBPs.
For reference, here are Torres’ stats in different batting spots:
Batting 1st .125/.222/.500 with a .722 OPS in 9 plate appearances
Batting 2nd .200/.333/.200 with a .533 OPS in 6 plate appearances
Batting 3rd .262/.311/.523 with a .834 OPS in 75 plate appearances
Batting 4th .224/.258/.424 with a .682 OPS in 132 plate appearances
Batting 5th .281/.342/.578 with a .920 OPS in 149 plate appearances
Batting 6th .280/.328/.542 with a .870 OPS in 116 plate appearances
Batting 7th .391/.468/.725 with a 1.193 OPS in 79 plate appearances
Batting 8th .323/.432/.452 with a .884 OPS in 37 plate appearances
Batting 9th .000/.000/.000 with a .000 OPS in 1 plate appearance
What would the Yankees have in store for him?
It’s curious to see the Yankees’ star struggling so much from the cleanup spot. While Torres had better numbers batting seventh, that won’t be a regular occurrence, because it would be a waste of his talent.
For me, the Yankees would be wise settling for the fifth spot in the lineup, although batting cleanup could also be an option, last season struggles notwithstanding.