Gleyber Torres came into New York with the pedigree of a top prospect, and so far he’s lived up to it. In the 23 games of his major league career, he’s amassed 25 hits, and four home runs, including a walk-off homer. He’s hit .309/.374/.494, and put up somewhere between 0.7 and 1.0 WAR depending on which version of the stat you prefer. All the while he’s, in theory, still adjusting to the major leagues.
At some point, he’ll probably slump, because all players do at one time or another. However, if he does maintain a performance level around what he’s doing right now, he’ll have a chance to do things few others in recent memory have accomplished.
If you bring up the Baseball Reference Play Index and do a search for rookie second base leaders in OPS+, Torres isn’t first, but he’s pretty close. His mark of 131 is tied for the eighth best of players with at least 92 at-bats, which is the number Torres has prior to Monday’s game against the Rangers.
However in looking at the seven ahead of him (or eight including the person he’s tied with), very few are even remotely close to this era.
Only Jason Kipnis and Devon Travis are close to him from this era. Plus, other than Joe Morgan, who’s behind Torres, no one else there is from the past 100 years. It might be tough for Torres to surpass Cupid Childs’ OPS+, but considering that Childs played for the St. Louis Perfectos and Chicago Orphans, among others in his career, it’s hard to actually compare their numbers too much.
Through his first 23 games, he’s accumulated 0.6 Baseball Reference Offensive WAR. That is already 143rd on the list of rookie first baseman. However, he has far fewer games and plate appearances than anyone else ahead of him on that list. Jose Lind in 1987 is about the closest ahead of him on the list, but he has 65 more plate appearances compared to only 0.2 more WAR. If Torres can keep somewhat close to the trajectory he’s been on, he could skyrocket up that list.
There is, of course, still quite a bit of baseball to be played before Torres could put up the stats to start topping any of these leader boards. Considering his prospect pedigree, he has the potential to do it, but it’s obviously far from a guarantee. That being said, he’s already put down a marker down for this to be one of the best rookie second baseman seasons in recent history. If only there wasn’t a freak of nature playing for the Angels that’s probably going to block his chance at Rookie of the Year.