The 2020 season was weird for several teams and players. For the New York Yankeesâ€™ 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. Itâ€™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 Yankeesâ€™ infielder will eventually get back on track. â€œIf there was ever a season to look at it like it was a spring training, it was last year,â€ says an executive from an American League teamâ€™s front office. â€œI donâ€™t buy the notion that anything the players did last year is the same. Be very cautious about that.
â€œSome 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 itâ€™s really good.â€
The Yankeesâ€™ shortstop had a humbling experience
A National League scout told SNY that he has â€œabsolutely no questions on Gleyber and theyâ€™d have to be out of their minds if there are questions about him.â€
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 seasonâ€™s struggles.
â€œHeâ€™s going to be fine,â€ says Dan Oâ€™Dowd, the former Colorado Rockies executive from 1999-2014 and current analyst for MLB Network. â€œIt was a very humbling year. You donâ€™t know how good you can become as an MLB player until youâ€™re humbled.
â€œHe should never have come into [Summer] Camp the way he did â€” heâ€™s way too talented a player,â€ he added.