The Yankees may have Gleyber Torres’ future replacement in the minors

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

When the Yankees acquired Victor Gonzalez from the Los Angeles Dodgers this off-season to support their bullpen, they mainly had their sites set on a young infield prospect that could develop into a potential long-term starter at second base.

Gonzalez is a good arm who tossed 33.2 innings last season and recorded a 4.01 ERA. However, the Bombers are getting a nice look at 22-year-old infield prospect Jorbit Vivas this spring, showcasing his hit tools and good plate discipline.

Jorbit Vivas Impresses in Spring Training

In fact, manager Aaron Boone recently stated that Vivas has a good eye for fastballs and was impressed upon his initial viewing.

“He can hit a fastball,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought he looked good. It was my first time seeing him in live BP.”

Vivas has played three minor-league games, including seven plate appearances. So far, he’s hitting .500/.714/2.000, including two homers, four RBIs, a 42.9% walk rate, a 14.3% strikeout rate, and 455 wRC+. Of course, these numbers are excessive, given the small sample size, but Vivas has put his quality on full display and has even made a few impressive snags at second base.

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Potential Role and Value for the Yankees

The Yankees put a lot of effort into trying to find a good prospect in return for Trey Sweeney, their 2021 first-round pick. Vivas stands out as a second baseman despite having plenty of experience at third base. There are concerns about his arm strength and game speed on the hot corner, so the Yankees prefer to have him at second, where he has enough athleticism to survive and shows better instincts.

“A lot went into trying to get the right guy in that trade that we made, and it fell on Jorbit because of that bat-to-ball that he has,” Boone said. “I feel like he can handle second base, too. I’m excited to see him this spring for the first time getting to see him in person.

At the moment, MLB Pipeline believes that Vivas mainly provides value with his offensive production, which is true based on his numbers throughout his minor league process.

Last year in Double-A, Vivas played 109 games, hitting .280/.391/.436, including 12 homers and 54 RBIs with 21 stolen bases. He posted a 10.6% strike rate in his first season, suggesting he has great discipline, and that is something that will translate to the MLB. His numbers fluctuated in Triple-A over a small 26-game sample, but he will get plenty of more time to work on his consistency to open the 2024 season.

“Most of Vivas’ value comes from his bat because he has fringy speed and arm strength, limiting his effectiveness on the bases and in the field. He’s a sure-handed second baseman with decent range, but not much versatility. He has seen considerable action at third base, but the game speeds up on him there and his arm isn’t suited for the hot corner.”

However, with Oswald Peraza already dealing with an injury and struggling to open spring training, there’s a possibility that Vivas could make the active roster and provide utility value at second and third base.

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