by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While Miguel Andujar got the first opportunity (and has finally begun taking advantage of it), news broke yesterday that he will be joined in the Majors by Gleyber Torres today. That means after failing to hand the starting jobs at both 2B and 3B to rookies in the offseason it took less than a month for the Yankees to ultimately get there.
Assuming Torres can produce this means whenever Brandon Drury returns he’s going to do so to a utility role, backing up both rookies, and depending on your format it’s safe to clear the roster spot and move on. Neil Walker, who also was imported this offseason, could see time at 1B and fill a backup role but he has played himself out of a starting job (.183 with 0 HR in 65 PA) and holds no value.
The big story here is Torres, obviously, who had been raking at Triple-A to open the season:
.347 (17-49), 1 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 1 SB
The question now is what type of production can we expect at the highest level? He entered yesterday benefiting from a .432 BABIP, so it’s obvious that he’s not going to maintain that type of average. At the same time, albeit in a small sample size, he showed a lot of promise in the underlying numbers:
- Line Drive Rate – 28.9%
- Strikeout Rate – 18.9%
- Walk Rate – 9.4%
- SwStr% – 8.9%
Prior to getting hurt in ’17 he split time between Double and Triple-A, and while he did hit the ball hard (26.5%) there was far more of a propensity to swing and miss with a 12.2% SwStr%. There was a dramatic split in the numbers, though, which makes you think that this year’s number could be repeatable:
- Double-A (139 PA) – 9.5%
- Triple-A (96 PA) – 16.0%
This year is a small sample size, and while he could be exposed a bit in the Majors seeing him keep the strikeout rate in the 20-24% range is believable. However what skill does he pair that with in order to fully excite us?
He showed some power potential last season (14 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR over 202 PA) and playing half his games in Yankee Stadium will help. At the same time he appears to be more of a 15-20 HR hitter, as opposed to a difference maker. Torres has stolen as many as 22 bases in a season, though he also doesn’t possess blazing speed (think more in the 8-12 SB range).
You put that all together and we get the following projection for the rest of the season:
.263 (105-400), 14 HR, 60 RBI, 55 R, 10 SB, .319 BABIP, .334 OBP, .433 SLG
There’s nothing wrong with the numbers, as he wouldn’t want a middle infielder with the potential to go 15/10 for the remainder of the season? There is a little bit of risk in his average, especially since he could struggle with strikeouts initially (though as he settles in the potential is there to be a .280+ hitter moving forward). Could Torres require a trip back to Triple-A? Without question. Could Torres prove to be a better real-life player than a fantasy player? Absolutely, but there also is significant potential that can’t be ignored.
Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team League – Worth Speculative Add
- 12 Team League – Must Add
- 14+ Team League – Must Add
- AL-Only League – Must Add
- Keeper/Dynasty – Must Add
Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings? Make sure to check it out by clicking here. Also don’t miss all of our 2018 Preseason Positional Prospect Lists:
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com