The New York Yankees have a big decision to make at shortstop this off-season, and that will not include homegrown talent, Gleyber Torres. Torres spent 108 games at shortstop this past season, delivering a .952 fielding percentage and 18 errors over 915.2 innings. Eventually transitioned over to second base after his inconsistencies forced the Yankees to make an unfortunate decision, plucking Gio Urshela from his normal third-base spot to take over at SS.
Torres spent the final 19 games of the season at 2B, logging a .986 fielding percentage and one error over 170 innings. It is clear he’s far more proficient at second base, and an MLB scout confirmed that reality.
The most troublesome aspect of Torres’s development is his batting. Even the fans knew that Torres would likely fail at the shortstop position, but his hitting has been extremely inconsistent ever since posting an impressive .271 batting average in 2018 and hitting 24 homers.
Torres took a step in the right direction this past season, but his power has fallen off dramatically, hitting just nine homers two years after logging 38 in 2019.
Confidence is an essential part of hitting in the MLB, and Torres seems to be in his own head. Putting him in a position where he can thrive and limit his mistakes would likely benefit him offensively. Torres posted a 20.2% strikeout rate this season and his lowest WAR excluding the abbreviated 2020 campaign.
The Yankees need to make the executive decision to maximize Gleyber instead of putting him in deficient spots. They have done him no favors forcing him to play shortstop, but with a strong market this off-season, we should expect the Yankees to be active in finding a replacement, moving Gleyber to second base permanently. This could shift DJ LeMahieu into a full-time first base role.