In 2020 and 2021, New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres wasn’t the same guy that hit 62 home runs between 2018 and 2019. He was passive, he didn’t show any game power, and he struggled mightily to get anything going at the plate; not to mention his defensive shortcomings at shortstop.
The Yankees’ new hitting coach Dillon Lawson worked with him in the offseason, and after a slow start, the results are starting to show this year. If you look at Gleyber’s line, you won’t see the performance of an All-Star…yet: .228/.267/.443 with four homers, a 107 wRC+ and a .310 wOBA.
But a look under the hood will tell you that the Yankees’ infielder is doing the right things. He is hitting the ball hard (at least at 95 mph) at a career-best rate, at 50 percent; and his average exit velocity is in the 89th percentile.
Judging by his quality of contact and his plate discipline, he has an expected wOBA of .390, making him one of the unluckiest players in baseball. His numbers will start increasing and improving in a hurry.
The Yankees wanted more aggressiveness from Torres
Lawson and the Yankees want Torres to be more aggressive, and that’s what he has been doing. And things are starting to click. His walk rate has decreased to 4.6 percent (compared to his career 9.0 percent mark), but now, he is not wasting any hittable pitches. His .215 isolated power is already pretty close to his 2018 and 2019 numbers, which is awfully encouraging.
Since April 21, Torres is slashing .295/.319/.568 with three homers, a .383 wOBA, and an excellent 159 wRC+. Ideally, he will get those walks a bit up, but if this is what works for Torres, the Yankees will gladly take a hitter with a high average and a healthy .273 isolated power.
All in all, Torres may not reach his 38-homer ceiling of 2019 (that was a “bouncy” ball, too), but his offseason work and approach adjustments may lead to 25 or 30 bombs if he plays every day. Again, the Yankees will gladly take that.