The 2020 season was weird for several teams and players. For the New York Yankees’ shortstop Gleyber Torres, it marked a significant step back from what he did in 2019 (38 home runs, .278/.337/.535), as he slumped to a .243/.356/.368 line with just three round-trippers.
He started to get going in the playoffs, so we can chalk his slump up to small sample size noise. However, while the increase in OBP was encouraging, the decrease in slugging percentage is concerning for the Yankees. It’s fair to wonder if there is something going on with him.
Another reason behind his iffy performance was poor conditioning and a series of lower-body injuries, most notably in his leg muscles.
SNY talked to several executives around the league (link here) and the overall sentiment is that the Yankees’ infielder will eventually get back on track. “If there was ever a season to look at it like it was a spring training, it was last year,” says an executive from an American League team’s front office. “I don’t buy the notion that anything the players did last year is the same. Be very cautious about that.
“Some of the best role players in the world were really good for 60 games. Gleyber is just too talented, so you write it off. With him, the skill set is the skill set and it’s really good.”
The Yankees’ shortstop had a humbling experience
A National League scout told SNY that he has “absolutely no questions on Gleyber and they’d have to be out of their minds if there are questions about him.”
It appears that the belief around the league is that the Yankees have a keeper at shortstop, even if Torres is unlikely to ever be a great fielder at shortstop.
Another person thinks that Torres can even reap the benefits from last season’s struggles.
“He’s going to be fine,” says Dan O’Dowd, the former Colorado Rockies executive from 1999-2014 and current analyst for MLB Network. “It was a very humbling year. You don’t know how good you can become as an MLB player until you’re humbled.
“He should never have come into [Summer] Camp the way he did — he’s way too talented a player,” he added.