The New York Yankees Gleyber Torres is still very young, and once heralded a future Yankee star; he may still see that in his future. But in a career that started out so bright, he hit a roadblock in 2020, he lost his power, he lost a beneficial batting average and that continued into the 2021 season with him hitting only 3 home runs. Although he has looked close to getting his stroke back, finally last night he hit his no-doubter fourth home run of the season. Is he on the road back to stardom is it just another blip in his career? This writer believes a turnaround is in the offing. Let’s learn how he got to this point.
The New York Yankees Gleyber Torres was born amongst the political strife, unrest, and violence of Caracas, Venezuela in a middle-class family headed by Eusebio Torres and his mother, Ibelise. He is 24 years old. Gleyber started playing baseball at the age of four. He started in his early years as an outfielder, but shortstop was more suited to his game. His love of the game was propelled by watching games on TV.
In high school, he played both basketball and baseball, but his father got him to concentrate on just baseball. Many thought he had the capabilities of becoming a professional. At age 14, he enrolled in an academy with strong connections to baseball scouts. Shortly after that, he was sought out by the Chicago Cubs, and he signed a contract with them.
In 2013 at the age of just sixteen, he signed a $1.7 million contract with the Cubs as an international free agent. He played in the minors for the Cubs organization; He made his pro debut in 2014 with the Arizona Cubs. In fifty games, he hit an average of .297. In 2015 he played for two minor league teams. In 126 games between the two clubs, he hit .287 with three home runs. In 2016 the Cubs traded Torres with Adam Warren and two other players to the Yankees for a desperately needed Aroldis Chapman. Torres played in the minors but missed most of the 2017 season for an injury that required Tommy John surgery, but still recorded a .287 season with seven home runs.
Gleyber Torres made his major league debut on April 22, 2018, against the Blue Jays but went hitless. The next day he got his first hit off the Twins. On May 4th, he recorded his first home run. The youngest Yankee to do so since 1969. In 2018 after batting .297 with fifteen home runs, he was selected to the All-Star team He was named AL player of the week twice. For his sophomore season, on April 4, 2019, Gleyber Torres became the fourth-youngest Yankee with four hits and three extra-base hits in a game since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1936.
On June 29, 2019, he hit the 39th home run of his short career. On August 2nd, he hit his second Grand Slam. To end his 2019 campaign, he batted .278 and led the New York Yankees with 38 home runs with 90 runs batted in. In his two years in the majors, he has been a New York Yankees All-Star twice and has received an MVP nomination. He finished the 2019 campaign he ended with 62 home runs for his three-year career and 167 RBIs.
Torres played well in the 2020 spring training and in the later summer camp. The New York Yankees had great hope for their young, new shortstop would repeat his excellent performance. The Yankees hoped for the best as he tried to follow in the footsteps of Yankee all-time star Derek Jeter, and last year’s departing Didi Gregorius, who is now a Philadelphia Philly.
Fast forward to the coronavirus shortened baseball season. Has all the 2019 magic disappeared from that new guy at short? Well, it appears there certainly have been some struggles that he has suffered, from both behind the plate and at his new position. Before Torres went on the IL with both calf and hamstring strains, he led the league in errors at short and was hitting just .231 with only one home run and a measly six RBIs.
On August 21, 2020, Torres went on the 10 day IL. Upon his return, he had three at-bats and managed a double in the game. It was at the time hoped that was a good sign for the remaining weeks of the season but it was not to be. Torres ended the 2020 season hitting just 3 home runs with an average batting average of .243. One must keep in mind that the 24-year-old is still very young, and has plenty of time to improve. One season does not make a career. This season has given his detractors even more ammunition that he will never make stardom. The home run last night may just be the catalyst he needs to turn it all around.