Yankees’ Gleyber Torres Opens Up About Tough Start: ‘Let’s see what happens at the end of the year’

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The Yankees are counting on 27-year-old second baseman Gleyber Torres to improve significantly after his promising 2023 season. Last year, Torres hit .273/.347/.453, with 25 homers, 68 RBIs, and a 123 wRC+, marking one of his best offensive performances. However, his defensive shortcomings indicated he still had room to reach his full potential.

Current Struggles and the Yankees’ Expectations

Despite the optimism, Torres has started 2024 with disappointing numbers, batting just .186/.290/.209 without a single home run and a 58 wRC+.

Although the season is still young, his performance has given the Yankees front office reason to consider not extending his contract and possibly allowing him to explore free agency after the season. This would mark a significant change at second base, where Torres has been a mainstay for years.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Sep 30, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) is interviewed after defeating the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

New hitting coach James Rowson is confident that Torres is close to regaining his form.

“I feel good,” Torres said via The Athletic. “I think sometimes it’s not going the right way. I feel like I have hit a couple of really good balls and, unfortunately, everything is out. I’ve taken a couple of walks already. Some at-bats, I’m seeing six or seven pitches. Maybe I don’t get the right results, but I’m feeling good. I’m seeing the ball a bit better. I hope I’ll get more consistency soon.”

Statistical Outlook and Defensive Concerns

Torres’s expected batting average is .191, placing him in the 8th percentile. His expected weighted on-base average is .275, which aligns with his current production and indicates that he is not experiencing extreme bad luck; rather, he is simply not making solid contact. His barrel percentage is 3.2%, ranking him in the 19th percentile, and his hard-hit rate is 30.6%, in the 18th percentile.

These slugging metrics have notably declined, but Torres remains optimistic about finding his rhythm as the season progresses.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
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Despite this being a contract year, which typically adds pressure to perform well, Torres seems focused only on the season ahead.

“Basically, now I’m just focusing on the season,” Torres said. “I’m just trying to get a great season with good numbers, stay healthy all season long, and let’s see what happens at the end of the year.”

Torres’s defensive performance has also been less than stellar.

In over 204 innings, he has a .965 fielding percentage and has recorded -2 defensive runs saved. This aspect of his game adds another layer of concern for the Yankees as they evaluate his future with the team.

As May approaches, the team and fans alike are hopeful that Torres can overcome his early struggles and demonstrate the talent that has previously made him a key player for the Yankees.

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