I get it. It’s an exciting time to be a Yankee fan because the future looks bright. After a few years of suffering through “old washed up Yankees” and having our favorite team serve as baseball’s version of a retirement home, there’s finally youth on this team. The consensus around the league is the farm system is one of the best, if not the best, in baseball and throughout the entire organization the team has talent.
Spring training came around, and Yankee fans got a glimpse of what the future might hold. While Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Aaron Judge were all pretty locks to get Opening Day roster spots, fans got to see what’s on the horizon as well. Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, James Kaprielian, and others, fans are understandably excited to hopefully see them perform in pinstripes for a long time. And of course, there’s Gleyber Torres.
Torres, acquired last July from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade, has endeared himself to the Bronx faithful pretty much since he arrived in the organization. When the Yankees sent him to the Arizona Fall League and he came back with MVP honors, it made everyone giddy. Since then he’s appeared on pretty much all top prospect lists and is largely considered a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. He’s pretty much the consensus top prospect for the Yankees.
Then spring training came, and Torres continued his torrid pace. As of writing this, Torres is slashing .464/.484/.964 with two home runs and six doubles in 18 games. He hasn’t stopped hitting. Back in November, Brian Cashman said that Torres would start the season at Double-A Trenton. They made the move official after yesterday’s game against the Red Sox.
Though as soon as Didi Gregorius got hurt at the World Baseball Classic, people began all the “bring Gleyber to the Bronx!” comments and suggestions. Just look at the responses on Twitter and in the comments sections calling for Torres’ promotion to the majors. Obviously no one wants to see Ronald Torreyes, Reuben Tejada, Pete Kozma, or Rob Refsnyder start everyday for over a month (okay maybe some people want to see Refsnyder start). I understand that. But that doesn’t mean to jump the gun straight to Torres.
Torres has yet to play a single game above of A-ball and people want him to jump straight to the majors. I’m not saying he’s going to fail, but why are we so quick to rush him to the majors? There’s a reason baseball has these different levels of the minors, to let prospects develop and hone their skills so they don’t feel overmatched. The other day, someone said that he or she is actually “sick” at the thought that Torres won’t travel to the Bronx with the team for Opening Day. And that was actually before Didi got hurt!
It’s not just fans who are excited at the prospect (pun intended) of the team’s next superstar. The New York Post’s Kevin Kernan wrote an article calling for Torres’ promotion to the majors.
What I am suggesting is that Torres understands the game in a certain veteran way. He has the confidence needed to survive in the major leagues right now. If there is an opportunity, give him a chance. Even if he struggles at the major league level early, it will help him in the long run.
He’s comparing this 20-year old kid to a veteran who’s been around the league for years. Sure Torres is probably mature for his age, both mentally and as a hitter, but there’s absolutely no need to add that pressure rush him past two levels of baseball because of an injury. Especially when Gregorius is only expected to be out for just over a month.
Mike Mazzeo of New York Daily News compiled a list of “possible shortstops” if Gregorius were to miss time. This is what he has to say regarding the team’s top prospect:
The 20-year-old top prospect, who is hitting .464 this spring, is certainly the fans' choice. However, Brian Cashman said Torres isn't going to start the season in the majors, regardless of what happens. Torres has yet to play above A-ball in his short career.
Mazzeo goes as far as to admit that it’s not going to happen and the reason for that but still inexplicably lists him as a possible replacement for Gregorius. It just makes no sense to bring his name into the conversation. Torres needs time to fine-tune his craft and be ready to contribute long-term. There’s absolutely no need to rush him. Sure, Torres could possibly end up in the majors this year, but let him work his way through Double-A and Triple-A first.
A few weeks ago, Jason Cohen wrote that the New York media needs to start tempering expectations and he’s absolutely right. That was in response to the stream of articles talking about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and if they would become Yankees or if the Yankees already have players that could fill those shoes. They also need to start tempering expectations on the team’s prospects.
As Matt Provenzano pointed out yesterday, there are a number of different ways the Yankees can handle Gregorius’ injury. They have the depth to handle a month without Gregorius. The Yankees made the right call here. Torres will eventually make his way to the Bronx and we’ll see plenty of #GleyberGood.
So let’s just be patient for now.