Yankees: Great Gleyber Torres news could fuel a resurgent 2022 season

yankees, gleyber torres

The demise of Gleyber Torres has been a polarizing situation for the New York Yankees, but there is hope he can fuel a resurgence this upcoming season with revitalized hitting mechanics.

After an electrifying 2019 season where he hit .278 with 38 homers and 90 RBIs, Torres has been unable to recapture that form. Over 127 games last season, Torres posted a .259 average with nine homers, down significantly from his 2019 campaign.

However, new Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson believes Torres may find his stride once again.

“I think he’s back to where he was a few years ago, when he was using the whole field,” Lawson said, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. “He’s done fine the past couple years going to right-center, but the way he’s going to right-center right now is with authority. And it’s not in a way that limits him to the pull side. That’s stuff from ’18 and ’19.”

So far this spring, Torres is batting .462 with a .692 slugging percentage. Over five games, Torres has six hits, one homer, and three RBIs. His mechanics and base look a lot cleaner, utilizing his lower half power once again, which has transformed his approach.

“It’s about the way he loads his lower body,’’ Lawson said. “He’s always been aggressive and a lot of people can’t do it the way he does it. But he can and he’s embracing that. He’s not running away from what makes him good.”

Torres is still trying to find consistency, but a strong start to spring training shows that he’s capable of much more.

“I’m trying to be more in control with that,” Torres said. “Last year, I hit too many ground balls trying to pull the ball. Now I want to stay in control and hit the ball right up the middle, the same as I did before.”

Last year, Torres posted a 20.2% strikeout rate and 9.7% walk rate. His patience was slightly better at the plate, but if he can couple that with mind-blowing power and contact hitting, he could be invaluable to the Yankees moving forward.

Interestingly, his slugging percentage dropped significantly compared to his 2019 numbers, but his max exit velocity increased from 109.6 to 111.6. His barrel percentage decreased to 7.8%, a 1.6% decrease in that timeframe. Torres also featured a career-high ground ball percentage at 41.5%, excluding the 2020 season when he played just 42 games.

His home run to fly-ball ratio landed at just  6.9% last year, whereas it was hovering around 21.5% in 2019. In addition, his hard-hit percentage dropped like a rock to 25.8% from nearly 40%. Altogether, he lost complete control of his power through his lower body, which is precisely what Dillon Lawson is trying to correct.