It seems as if the New York Yankees might be trying to train infielder Gleyber Torres to be their next franchise shortstop. In 21 games at the position in 2018, he recorded five errors and had a fielding percentage of .928. His defense simply wasn’t up to par, as he moved over the second-base and showed much more promising production.
The New York Yankees are helping Gleyber Torres mature:
The Yankees don’t seem to be phased by his struggles as they intend on moving him to SS on Troy Tulowitzki’s off-days. This would imply that DJ LeMahieu could play more second-base than expected. But my question is: Why not put LeMahieu there if they weren’t keen on getting Torres reps at the position?
In only his second year, Torres is one of the most promising young players in the entire MLB. Offensively, he’s been very effective, batting .271 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs. An impressive rookie season at the plate has fueled immense expectation for the youngster, but it seems as if he’s more than capable of handling the pressure.
So far this spring, Gleyber is hitting .292 with one homer and two RBIs on 24 at-bats. Bringing that type of confidence and momentum into the regular season is essential for a sophomore player. Avoiding the infamous “slump” will be his primary goal in 2019.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated in regard to Torres, according to the New York Post:
“Gleyber being able to play both positions is huge for us,’’ Aaron Boone said. “We hope it helps make up for the loss of Didi and it allows us to protect [Tulowitzki], who is gonna need his days [off] no matter what. Gleyber has the versatility and ability to move back and forth and gave us the dynamic to bring in DJ [LeMahieu].’’
Torres now has a three-time Gold Glove winner in LeMahieu to learn from, and it certainly will elevate his game.
“I’m more confident now,’’ Torres said “Last year was last year. This is a new year. I’m just motivated to do well again.’’
Personally, I believe that the infielder’s offensive production will even out, possibly hitting around .270 again. However, defensively, I expect him to take a big jump and begin to develop at the shortstop position. The Yankees seem to have a plan for their young star moving forward.