TAMPA — Gleyber Torres has been lauded for his maturity level.
So much so, that he reminds Joe Girardi of Miguel Cabrera at a young age.
But no, Yankees fans, no matter what Torres does in the spring — even hitting .600 — he’s still starting 2017 in the minors. “Nope,” Brian Cashman said when asked about the possibility.
Torres, 20, rated a top-5 prospect in all of baseball, is hitting .455 this spring with two homers, four doubles and a triple. He’s also shown promise defensively at shortstop and second base.
“Ever since we got him he’s been a performer,” Cashman said. “I love his makeup. It’s very impressive that as a 20-year-old he commands the English language as well as he does being from another country (Venezuela).”
The Yankees acquired Torres in a blockbuster trade with the Cubs for Aroldis Chapman (now back on a five-year, $86 million deal) at last season’s deadline.
“We had him as their No. 1 prospect because of what we saw on the field,” Cashman said. “So I can’t say he’s better than what we expected because we had him rated pretty high.”
In his first season as a manager in 2006 with the Marlins, Girardi had Cabrera, then 23. Cabrera hit 26 homers that year with 112 runs scored, 50 doubles, 114 RBIs and a .998 OPS as Girardi earned NL Manager of the Year honors.
“When I had him, he was incredible,” Girardi said of Cabrera. “He was (23) when I had him in the big leagues, and he’d already been there for like nine years. At that age, Miguel was really mature.”
When Cabrera was 20, he won the World Series with the Marlins in 2003 over the Yankees and homered in the Fall Classic. Said Girardi of Torres: “He’s 20, and you wouldn’t know it.”
Torres and Cabrera both hail from Venezuela. Torres has watched plenty of video of Cabrera, now a star with the Tigers.
“He’s always had a good average, he’s been a batting champion and he can hit to the opposite field,” Torres said. “I try to take in everything he does because it makes me better.”
Maturity is extremely important for a young player. Torres has plenty of it, which is why he’s handled expectations so well.
“From the beginning I told myself why would I add any pressure?” Torres said. “Why would I start thinking too much and add that pressure? Because all I have to do is do what I’ve been doing ever since I was a kid — playing baseball. And to me, that’s the key: just keep on doing the things I know how to do and things will be fine.”
Published at Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:17:09 +0000