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Putting Gleyber Torres's Fall League numbers in context

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Gleyber Torres has gotten off to a hot start in the Arizona Fall League. When combined with his age, how exciting are his numbers in the desert?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Fall League can be exciting for numerous reasons. Each year, some of the best prospects in baseball congregate for a few weeks of additional competition. The recently increased coverage gives fans the chance to see their future stars in action. If it is not the annual Futures Game, good luck finding high definition video and Statcast data on minor league players.

Even though the Arizona Fall League can be exciting, numbers that are put up by Fall Leaguers can be deceiving. Generously, a position player might get 100 plate appearances during the course of the league's season, and even those numbers can be propped up by the fact that it is a hitter friendly league. Still, two things cannot be denied. So far, newcomer prospect Gleyber Torres has been extremely impressive in Arizona. Still 19 years old, he is doing it at a very young age.

Through eight games, Torres had a .357/.471/.750 slash line. He also has more walks than strikeouts, which is always good. Here he is turning on an inside fastball for a three-run homer:

Obviously, eight games does not constitute a huge sample size. For the sake of argument, let's assume he continues to do well in the desert. How much sense does it make to be excited by his progress?

For a little context, we can look at how other teenagers, or recently-turned 20-year-olds have done in the Arizona Fall League. In 2011, six position players who were 18 or 19 at the start of the season played in the Arizona Fall League. Included in that list were players like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Since then, players of a similar age group in the Arizona Fall League have been even harder to come by. When they have been given the chance to play, their performances have not necessarily been indicative of their abilities.

In 2011, Bryce Harper put up a 1.034 OPS for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Teammate Mike Trout had a .600 OPS, and struck out 33 times in 111 plate appearances. Two years later, top shortstop prospects Addison Russell and Corey Seager made the trip to Arizona. Seager hit .181 with 25 strikeouts in 79 plate appearances, while Russell had a much more respectable .796 OPS.

Russell had spent the 2013 season with Oakland's High-A affiliate. Despite missing a significant part of the 2014 season due to an injury, he managed to play 142 games with the Cubs in 2015. Seager, who evidently had some more adjustments to make, has taken a bit longer to reach the big leagues. However, since coming into his own at the plate, he has emerged as an MVP candidate for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Recent history tells us that it doesn't make much sense to read too heavily into Gleyber Torres's performance in the Arizona Fall League. What might be more telling is where the Yankees decide to place him at the start of the 2017 season. Sustaining a high level of production over the next couple of weeks could convince the Yankees to start Torres at Double-A Trenton next year, which would speak volumes about his advanced approach at the plate. While his numbers in Arizona might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, we might look back on these moments as the first time Gleyber Torres really announced his presence as a player.