The San Francisco Giants’ Andres Torres has gone from fantasy obscurity to fantasy relative over the past few days, having claimed the leadoff spot in the order. In 10 games batting atop the lineup (through Thursday), he’s hit .289 with 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R and 4 SB. Overall, he’s posted the following line:
115 At Bats
.296 Batting Average (17 Hits)
2 Home Runs
6 Stolen Bases
.386 On Base Percentage
.496 Slugging Percentage
.352 Batting Average on Balls in Play
It’s easy to get excited about someone with speed hitting leadoff, but do not get carried away. Torres is no spring chicken, making his major league debut for the Tigers back in 2002. At 32-years old, we should have a very good idea of exactly what he is.
A fourth round draft pick in 1998, Torres stole 313 bases over his 3,732 AB in the minor leagues. While he stole as many as 67 bases back in 2000, the totals have regressed since then. Just look at his numbers from 2006-2008:
- 2006 – 19
- 2007 – 22
- 2008 – 29
Last season he saw just 59 AB in the minor leagues and 152 in the majors, compiling 8 SB. Does he have speed? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t expect him to emerge as one of the elite base stealers in the game.
Considering how bad the Giants offense is, do you really expect him to score a bundle of runs as well? He’s going to get a few, but again, don’t look for him to come close to the league leaders thanks to the real lack of production behind him.
That’s a huge detriment, because what exactly is he going to be able to bring to the table? He was a career .272 hitter in the minor leagues and while he’s hitting .296 thus far, you have to wonder if he will be able to maintain it.
He has very little power, with just 46 minor league home runs. His career high was 11 back in 2008, but he spent that year in the Pacific Coast League, so how can we take that seriously?
His speed is his one true endearing quality, and while there’s upside there, the chances of him stealing 40+ bases seem quite minimal. Without that, he just doesn’t bring much to the table. The anemic offense means non-elite runs scored levels. He has no power. He’s not likely to be a .300 hitter.
The bottom line is, outside of the deepest five-outfielder (or NL-only) leagues, he has little value to fantasy owners. As it is, is there a guarantee the he even remains an everyday player? I know people are desperate for speed, but there are certainly more productive options available.
What are your thoughts on Torres? Is he a player you think I am being too harsh about? Why or why not?
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