Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Gleyber Torres

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Gleyber Day! He’s the Gleyber of the month! Ok, on a serious note though, how important is Gleyber Torres going to be for the New York Yankees here in 2019? Name a position and Gleyber could probably play it in a pinch. Troy Tulowitzki goes down? Slide Gleyber in at shortstop and let DJ LeMahieu play second base. DJ goes down? Gleyber back to second. Andujar goes down or need a day off? Like a good neighbor, Gleyber is there. Hell, I bet Torres could even play first base if he had to, the kid is just that talented. Let’s meet possibly the most important and integral part of the Yankees infield this season, Mr. Gleyber Torres.

Gleyber Torres, 22-years old, is a right-handed infielder for the New York Yankees with experience at second base, shortstop, and the third base positions. Gleyber loves to wait on a fastball and drive it out of the ballpark, but he can also handle his own on breaking pitches as we saw throughout the 2018 campaign with the Yankees. Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 200 lbs. this young man is the future of the New York Yankees infield and is under team control through the 2024 season.

Gleyber David Torres Castro was born on December 13, 1996 in Caracas, Venezuela to parents Eusebio Torres and Ibelise Castro. His parents were said to be intrigued by the name “Qleyber” and decided to name their son Gleyber because of its uniqueness. Torres started playing baseball at the age of four as a center fielder, catcher, pitcher, and eventually as a shortstop. Gleyber grew up watching games on television and idolized players like Omar Vizquel. By the age of 14, Gleyber had caught the eye of many MLB scouts including the Chicago Cubs who ultimately decided to sign Torres as an International free agent in 2013 for a $1.7 million signing bonus.

Torres made his professional debut in 2014 with the Arizona Cubs before working his way up to Class A-Advanced ball in 2016, just in time for the Cubs to trade Gleyber to the New York Yankees along with Adam Warren, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford for closer Aroldis Chapman. Torres was immediately assigned to the Tampa Yankees and was also assigned to the Arizona Fall League following the season. Torres won the AFL MVP Award in 2016, becoming the youngest player to do so, and quickly became the top-rated Yankees prospect heading into the 2017 season and the fifth best prospect overall according to Baseball America. Torres was invited to spring training camp in 2017 but was ultimately assigned to Double-A to begin the season.

Torres was promoted to Triple-A in May of 2017, but a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his non-throwing left elbow ended his season on June 19. Gleyber underwent Tommy John surgery and finished the 2017 season batting .287/.383/.480 with seven home runs and 34 RBI for the Trenton Thunder and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders combined. Gleyber was invited back to Yankees spring training camp in 2018 but was ultimately assigned to Triple-A to begin the year. Gleyber stayed n the minor leagues until April 22 when the Yankees called him up to make his MLB debut against the Toronto Blue Jays. Gleyber went 0-4 in the contest, but he collected his first hit the next night against the Minnesota Twins. Torres was selected to the All-Star Game as an American League reserve in his rookie season, but he did not play in the game. Gleyber also hit the Yankees 265th home run as a team in 2018, breaking the 1997 Seattle Mariners all-time record for most home runs as a team in a single season. That home run also marked the 20th home run out of the 9th spot in the batting order, thus making the Yankees the first team in history to have at least 20 home runs from every spot in the batting order.

Gleyber finished the season in the American League Division Series, falling to the Boston Red Sox. Gleyber had an amazing rookie campaign with the Yankees and finished 3rd overall in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting. Gleyber will look to be even better here in 2019 and will look to lead the Yankees even further into the postseason. Good luck to you, Gleyber, and much respect and love.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)