It took just over 30 games of the minor league season for the Yankees to promote their top prospect to Triple-A. Shortstop Gleyber Torres will be moving up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to play for the RailRiders after his promotion on Sunday.
In Double-A with the Trenton Thunder, Torres batted .273/.367/.496 with five home runs and five stolen bases. He has been on a tear as of late with four of his home runs coming in the last seven games. The 20-year-old prospect is roughly four years younger than the average Eastern League player, putting him well ahead of schedule for how old he is.
The obvious thing to watch here is how current members of the Yankees’ infield perform over the next few months. While Gleyber is predominantly a shortstop, he can also fill in at other infield positions as well. Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro could also find themselves moving around to clear room and fill needed holes.
Basically, Chase Headley should be able to hear footsteps behind him. Headley started the season on a tremendous tear before turning back into himself over the last several weeks. His numbers have fallen to .241/.317/.386 after going 0-4 in the series finale against the Rays.
Castro and Gregorius are both swinging the bat well for the Yankees, in addition to providing more defensively than Headley does. Neither seems in imminent danger of losing their spot the way that Headley could if he continues to struggle and Torres does well at Triple-A.
The Yankees don’t have to be in any kind of rush, though. Torres will be one of the youngest players in Triple-A and the Yankees still remain in first place. The pressure to rush Torres to the majors to be some kind of savior is non-existent.
However, there is an opportunity there if Headley falls out of favor. The Yankees obviously want to make it back to the playoffs, and their youth movement has been more successful faster than many thought was possible. If they can add their system’s best prospect to that group, even better.
Not only is Torres the Yankees’ best prospect, he is one of the best prospects in all of baseball. It has been quite a while since the Yankees could boast one of those in their system. They are clearly showing a lot of faith in him to promote him to the highest level of the minors so quickly. Hopefully all that faith pays off in the form of getting to see him in big league action at some point this season.
Getting to watch guys like Aaron Judge be a real force for the Yankees now instead of hoping everything clicks for the future has been a great treat for fans this season. Getting to see one of the best young players in the game skyrocket through the system and reach the majors sooner than expected would really be icing on the cake.