New York Yankees Report Cards: Gleyber Torres, where will he play in 2021?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres
Sep 23, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees didn’t re-sign Didi Gregorius after the 2019 season; instead, let him become a free agent and join Joe Girardi’s Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, the Yankees slotted in Gleyber Torres at shortstop. It should be remembered that Torres, a second baseman, never asked to be the shortstop; he agreed to it for the sake of the team as they had no other viable options.

During spring training and the summer camp, the Yankee continually touted that they had faith that Torres could do the job adequately. What happened is that he didn’t perform well in his new position. At one point in the season, he had the most errors at short than any other shortstop in baseball. Add to that the 2019 home run leader who had 38 home runs during that season stopped hitting for whatever reason. He got only 3 home runs, and his batting average dropped from .278 to .243. Torres is still very young and has the ability to return to the player he was in 2019. The Yankees are hoping this is just a blip in career.

Gleyber Torres report card: C

Where Torres will play in the 2021 season has yet to be determined. The New York Yankees know he has a lot of talent and wants to see him back at second base, his natural position. But, the is in question; it depends on if they can land a better quality shortstop and if the Yankee re-sign DJ LeMahieu, which is one of their priorities.

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. During 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 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 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, Torres went on the 10 day IL. In  Baltimore against the Orioles, Gleyber Torres returned to the Yankee lineup. He had three at-bats and managed a double in the game. In the entire month of August, he didn’t get a single home run.  In September when he plays in all games he had eight games when he didn’t make a hit. He was somewhat better in the postseason hitting 4 hits in the seven games, two of them home runs. One season does not make a career. This season may be a blip in his journey to becoming a Yankee star.