The New York Yankee’s Gleyber Torres may be as good as Francisco Lindor in 2021, a report from MLB.com says. The report was done on seven underperforming players during the 2020 season and their ability to bounce back from bad numbers. The report does not involve defensive numbers, only hitting. They project Lindor will hit .277 with 33 homers and Torres hitting .270 with 32 homers.
David Adler of MLB.com suggested that it was a weird season for some of the best baseball players and seven players that were most likely to bounce back from poor numbers. I have previously reported that many industry sources have said that you can’t use 2020 numbers as an indicator of how good a player can be. This report further backs up that statement. Included in the report in addition to Torres and Lindor was Christain Yelich, Nolan Arenado, Cody Bellinger, Alex Bregman, and pitcher Jack Flaherty. All of these star players had substantially subpar seasons.
There are many theories out there to why the coronavirus 2020 season affected so many players, but none can be proven. The most common of which is that the split spring training stop and start never allowed many players to get into sync at the start of the season and that the season wasn’t long enough for them to get on track. But for some reason, others excelled in the environment.
As far as the Yankees are concerned, several players regressed from 2019 numbers, including Tyler Wade, Mike Ford, Mike Tauchman, Gleyber Torres, and most notably Gary Sanchez, who could never find his stride and had a horrible season. Yet DJ LeMahieu became baseball’s hitting champ, and Luke Voit hit more home runs than anyone in baseball. Other Yankee players had their season affected by injuries.
The report shows Lindor with 2020 stats: .258 AVG / .335 OBP / .415 SLG, 8 HR, 6 SB, .750 OPS and 2021 projections: .277 AVG / .349 OBP / .507 SLG, 33 HR, 19 SB, .856 OPS. Lindor hit .284 in 2019 with 32 home runs. The big difference for Lindor in 2020 was that he had far fewer pulled balls and, with less power, not leaving the park.
Gleyber Torre’s numbers showed 2020 stats: .243 AVG / .356 OBP / .368 SLG, 3 HR, .724 OPS. 2021 projections: .270 AVG / .350 OBP / .498 SLG, 32 HR, .847 OPS. During 2019 Torres hit .278 with 38 home runs. Pitchers seemed to have adjusted to Torres throwing him to the edges of the strike zone 45% of the time compared to 39.7% of the time during 2019. That and being too selective caused the dramatic drop in his numbers. Torres in 2021 needs to adjust and get the ball on the barrel to get his power numbers back.
Regardless of the reasons, the report shows that offensively Torres can be just as good a player for the New York Yankee as Francisco Lindor can be for the Indians if you are to believe the projections. Torres is still very young at 24 and is still in development. The New York Yankees hope that Torres will improve his defense as he matures, getting to the ball sooner and throwing more accurately. Lindor is three years older than Torres. The Yankees are hopeful for a bounce year for Torres, they will need him more than ever in 2021.