The Yankees suffered a tough loss on Sunday afternoon. Good news, however, arrived in the middle of the game. Gleyber Torres continued his ascent through the various rankings. According to MLB.com, the shortstop now sits exclusively as the number one prospect in all of baseball.
It took Mets shortstop Amed Rosario losing prospect status to put Torres in the top position, but that doesn’t matter. He very well could have overtaken the number one ranking earlier, assuming he didn’t tear his UCL during a freak play at the plate. He underwent successful Tommy John surgery on June 21st.
Torres posted a .287/.383/.480 batting line across two levels and 235 plate appearances. Factor in seven home runs and that gave him a 141 wRC+ on the injury-shortened season. Considering he’s just 20 years old, it’s no exaggeration to describe him as the most polished young bat in the minor leagues.
The MLB.com scouting report agrees with this assessment:
“Torres has exceptionally quick hands that allow him to excel at the dish and in the field. He's very advanced at the plate, recognizing pitches well, displaying patience and using the entire field. His power projections seem to increase each year as he adds strength and experience, and he now looks like he'll deliver 20-plus homers on an annual basis in his prime.”
Had he not suffered the season-ending injury, it’s likely that Torres would have already reached the big leagues. One could imagine the Yankees turning to him after Starlin Castro’s injury. Instead, the club will have to wait until next year to see Torres don pinstripes. It’s a frustrating injury, but that’s about it. All reports indicate he evaded catastrophic damage. Given his youth, his major league debut will still come ahead of most schedules.
Time will tell if Torres remains on top heading into next season. It will also prove interesting to compare his rankings across varying lists. As things stand, he’s the highest ranking Yankees prospect since Jesus Montero in 2011. You have to go all the way back to Brien Taylor in 1992 for the last time a Bomber took the top spot.
Obviously Torres’ health stands paramount to any prospect rankings. It doesn’t matter exactly where he fits on any particular list. His ability to arrive to spring training healthy proves most important. From there the team can determine the right course of action for their star infield prospect. They could map out his development, or decide he’s ready to break camp with the big league squad. That’s what it’s all about.
Nonetheless, it’s still fun to see the Yankees have a number one prospect. That would have seemed unfathomable as recently as 2013. When combined with the young core performing at elite levels for the big league club, the future seems incredibly bright. Now, if you’re anything like me, all this talk about Torres makes you want to see him play. Fortunately he has you covered. Here’s a short video of his rehab to whet your appetite: