The New York Yankees face significant scrutiny regarding their roster choices, particularly around second baseman and former All-Star Gleyber Torres. Despite criticism, Torres’s value in the Yankees lineup should not be underestimated.
Torres’ Consistent Performance at the Plate
Gleyber Torres is one of the Yankees’ only productive hitters and is widely considered one of the best second basemen in the game. While some critiques are valid, ignoring Torres’s consistency throughout this season would be misguided. He boasts a .271 batting average, .336 OBP, 18 homers, 49 RBIs, a career-low 13.8% strikeout rate, a 9.2% walk rate, and 116 wRC+. His improvement in strikeout rates, from 22.6% to 13.8%, indicates a significant enhancement in his playing technique.
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Comparing with Previous Seasons: A Closer Look
Torres’s current performance resonates with his career growth. His walk rate, on-base percentage, and second-best batting average only affirm his consistency, trailing only his explosive 2019 season. His current statistics include a 39.3% hard-hit rate, an 8.5% barrel rate, 89.6 average exit velocity, and a career-high 112.4 max exit velocity.
Clearly, Torres’s power is intact, as evidenced by his track to hit over 20 homers for the second consecutive season.
August’s Triumph: Torres in Top Form
In August, Torres’s form has been nothing short of remarkable. In 43 at-bats, he is hitting .419 with a .490 OBP, .651 slugging percentage, and 1.141 OPS, notching two homers, five RBIs, and striking out only seven times.
Trade Talks: A Risky Proposition
Some voices have advocated trading Torres to strengthen the outfield or pitching, with the Miami Marlins showing interest at the deadline. However, the Yankees’ request for a significant return led to a swift rejection.
Trading one of the most efficient and productive offensive players in a team with a struggling offense would be a misguided move. At 26, Torres represents a vital part of the Yankees’ long-term plan.
Defensive Skills: An Area of Concern?
Torres’s defensive value is an area of some contention. Despite a slightly underwhelming year, his overall record should not be overlooked. With 882.2 innings at second base, he shows a .975 fielding percentage, -1 defensive runs saved, and -1 out above average. While improvement is desirable, he remains an average defensive player this season and has shown potential with nine defensive runs saved last year.
The Future: The Yankees Investing in Torres
Moving forward, the Yankees’ focus is likely to extend Torres’s contract this upcoming off-season. Considering the absence of immediate replacements on the roster, the team should invest in Torres, a proven asset.
The Yankees’ future strategies should also encompass financial considerations in strengthening outfield and third base positions. As one of their youngest and most valuable players, keeping Torres at second base is not just a wise choice, but a necessity for a franchise looking to build and maintain success.