Gleyber Torres is just 23 years old and is making a name for himself in the Majors. Should the Yankees extend the young star?
He’s only 23 years old. Yes, the New York Yankees’ young shortstop has made a name for himself through his first three years or so in the big leagues, despite an off-year in 2020. However, as Gleyber Torres is quickly becoming a fan-favorite who, for the most part, has shown dependability on the field, should the Bombers extend their youngest superstar?
Torres’ Breakout 2019
Torres made a name for himself in 2018, don’t get me wrong, when he finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting. in 123 games, Torres hit .271 with a .340 OBP. His wOBA and wRC+ were very solid, at .349 and 122, respectfully.
However, Torres really broke out in 2019, where he mashed 38 homers and had an fWAR of 3.6 — 1.6 wins higher than his fWAR from his rookie season. Furthermore, Torres had a better batting average of .278 and a wOBA of .358. Finally, he had a wRC+ of 125 in 144 games.
Torres proved his worth in the postseason in both 2019 and 2020. In 2019, Torres hit .324 with a .375 on-base percentage. The phenom was 12-for-37 with 8 extra-base hits, three of which left the yard. Torres was even better in 2020, going 10-for-23 (.435 batting average) with a .567 on-base percentage. He hit two homers and walked seven times in 30 plate appearances this October. These numbers have been an immense improvement from his first postseason, which was in 2018, where it seemed as if the pressure of October got to Torres a bit. In that postseason, Torres was just 4-for-16 with no extra-base hits.
A Move Back to Second, or Even out of the Bronx?
As we all know, this is the offseason, where rumors circulate like crazy, among these rumors is a potential Yankees-pursuit of Cleveland Indians’ star shortstop Francisco Lindor. In the Yankees do in fact pull off a deal for Lindor, we’d either see Torres move back to second base after a poor year defensively at shortstop in 2020 or, even more extreme, we may see Torres get traded all together in a potential package for Lindor. Whether or not this happens, we will see, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
So, Should the Yankees Extend Him?
It’s tough to say. After a dominant 2019 season, Torres looked like a lock to become a long-term Yankee, but after faltering in an abbreviated 2020 season, it’s reasonable to have pause on whether or not Torres can be trusted down the road. Personally, I’m going to give Torres the benefit of the doubt here. The young shortstop showed great promise in 2018 and was even better in 2019. Considering the season was as odd as it was, with spring training being started and stopped and the regular season not kicking off until late July, it’s understandable that some players may not have adjusted to this strange season.
The outlier here is the whole Lindor scenario, but I’m going to assume that the Yankees’ interest in the star is more due-diligence rather than a full-on pursuit, and if that’s the case, the Yankees should begin having discussions with Torres to lock him in pinstripes for a very long time.