Gleyber Torres

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Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres.jpg
Torres in June 2019
New York Yankees – No. 25
Second baseman / Shortstop
Born: (1996-12-13) December 13, 1996 (age 23)
Caracas, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 2018, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through September 21, 2020)
Batting average.272
Home runs65
Runs batted in181
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Gleyber David Torres Castro (born December 13, 1996) is a Venezuelan professional baseball second baseman and shortstop for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut on April 22, 2018.

Early life[edit]

Torres was born and raised in Caracas by his parents, Eusebio Torres and Ibelise Castro.[1][2] Intrigued by the name "Qleyber," his father decided to name Torres after it because of its uniqueness.[3] Torres grew up in a middle-class household. However, life at home devolved into unrest, with many citizens rebelling against the government in the wake of constant food shortages, rampant crime and widespread violence.[4]

Torres started playing baseball at the age of four as a center fielder, catcher, pitcher, and eventually shortstop.[5] His passion for baseball grew watching games on TV, while idolizing his favorite player Omar Vizquel. Torres also played basketball briefly in high school, but he quit the sport on his father's instructions in order to focus on baseball.

Academies began to take notice of Torres's talent and wanted to help him become a professional. At 14, Torres moved to Maracay to enroll in an academy that had contacts with MLB scouts. He was sought out by the Chicago Cubs and signed a contract with the team.

When Torres was not playing baseball he would spend a lot of time with his friends, riding bicycles and going to amusement parks. One of his favorite games was "chapitas." The game was played with a bottle cap, with one person pitching and another batting with a broomstick.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Chicago Cubs[edit]

Minor Leagues (2014–2018)[edit]

Torres signed with the Chicago Cubs as an international free agent in 2013 for a $1.7 million signing bonus.[6][2] He made his professional debut in 2014 with the Arizona Cubs of the Rookie-level Arizona League. He was later promoted to the Boise Hawks of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. In 50 games for the two teams combined, he hit .297/.386/.440 with two home runs.

In 2015, Torres began the season with the South Bend Cubs of the Class A Midwest League, and was promoted to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League in September.[7][8] In 487 at bats over 126 games for the two teams combined, he hit .287/.346/.376 with three home runs and 64 runs batted in (RBI).

Torres started 2016 with Myrtle Beach.[9]

New York Yankees[edit]

On July 25, the Cubs traded Torres, Adam Warren, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford to the Yankees for relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman.[10] He began his Yankees career playing with the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League.[11][12] He finished the 2016 season batting .270/.354/.421 with 11 home runs and 66 RBI for the two Class A+ teams combined.[13] After the season, the Yankees assigned him to the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League (AFL). After batting .403 in 76 at bats with a .513 on-base percentage and a 1.158 OPS, Torres was named the AFL Most Valuable Player.[14] At the age of 19, Torres was the youngest player in the AFL, and the youngest player in history to win the AFL MVP.[15] He was ranked after the 2016 season as the Yankees' top prospect by Baseball America.[16]

Torres was listed as the fifth best prospect in baseball entering the 2017 season by Baseball America.[17] After hitting .448 in 29 at bats with two home runs in spring training with the Yankees, Torres began the 2017 season with the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. In April, he went on the seven-day disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation.[18] The Yankees promoted Torres to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Class AAA International League in May.[19] In June, Torres slid headfirst into home, despite the fact that the Yankees stress to their players to slide feet-first because the team believes it is safer, and tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his non-throwing left elbow.[20] On June 19, Torres was ruled out for the rest of the 2017 season after it was determined that his injury required Tommy John surgery.[21] He finished the 2017 season batting .287/.383/.480 with seven home runs and 34 RBI for the two teams combined.[22] The Yankees added him to their 40-man roster after the season.[23]

Entering the 2018 season, Torres was labeled as the fifth-best prospect in baseball and the best shortstop prospect by MLB.com.[24][25] During spring training, Torres competed with Miguel Andujar and other infielders for a spot on the opening day roster. On March 13, 2018, Torres was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the year.[26] He was pulled out of the game on April 22 after six innings. Torres misunderstood thinking it was a punishment for not hustling enough but after the game he was called into manager Bobby Mitchell's office where he heard of his promotion to the Major Leagues.[27]

Major Leagues[edit]

2018[edit]

Torres during Players Weekend in 2018

Torres made his MLB debut on April 22, 2018, as the second-baseman against the Toronto Blue Jays, going 0 for 4.[28] The next day, against the Minnesota Twins, Torres recorded his first MLB hit.[29] On May 4, Torres hit his first career home run, off Josh Tomlin, which at the age of 21 was the youngest Yankee to homer since John Ellis in 1969.[30] Two days later, against the Cleveland Indians, Torres hit his first career walk-off, a home run off of relief pitcher Dan Otero, becoming the youngest Yankee to hit a walk-off homer and giving the Yankees a 7–4 victory.[31][32] On May 21, against the Texas Rangers, Torres recorded his first multi-homer game when he hit two home runs as the Yankees won 10–5.[33] On May 25 against the Los Angeles Angels, Torres hit a home run in his fourth straight game; at 21 years and 163 days old, he became the youngest player in American League history to accomplish that feat.[34][34] Torres was named AL Player of the Week for the week ending on May 27, when he hit .368/.429/1.158 with five home runs and nine RBIs.[35] On May 29, Torres hit a walk-off single to beat the Houston Astros in extra innings.[36] Torres was also named American League Rookie of the Month for May. He slashed of .317/.374/.659 scoring 13 runs, 26 hits, nine home runs and 24 RBI.[37]

On July 4, Torres went on the 10-day disabled list due to a right hip strain.[38] After batting .294 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI over 218 at-bats and boasting a .905 OPS, Torres was selected to the 2018 All-Star Game, his first All-Star appearance, but he did not play in the game.[39]

For the week ending on September 2, Torres was once again named AL Player of the week. On September 29, Torres hit the Yankees 265th home run of 2018, surpassing the 1997 Seattle Mariners for most home runs in a single season. In addition, it was the 20th home run in the 9th spot of the order, making the Yankees the first team in history to have 20 home runs from every batting spot in the lineup.

He played most of his games for 2018 at second base, despite playing primarily at shortstop during his minor-league career, due to the shortstop position being taken by Didi Gregorius.

2019[edit]

For his sophomore season, on April 4, 2019, Torres became the fourth youngest Yankee with four hits and three extra base hits in a game since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1936. Torres went 4 for 4 with a double, two home runs and four RBI against the Baltimore Orioles. On June 19, 2019, Torres hit his 39th career home run and his first career grand slam off of Oliver Drake of the Tampa Bay Rays. Torres hit his second career grand slam on August 2, 2019 against Eduardo Rodríguez of the Boston Red Sox. On August 12, the Venezuelan scored his 13th home run against the Orioles, setting a record in the divisional era.[40] On August 22, Torres hit his 30th home run, thus becoming the second Yankee to hit 30 or more home runs in a single season at age of 22 or younger, joining Joe DiMaggio who hit 46 home runs in 1937. His 39 home runs made him the second ever middle infielder after Alex Rodriguez to do so before turning 23, and third Yankees player since DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle to hit at least two 20+ HR seasons before the age of 23. Torres finished the 2019 regular season batting .278. and went on to hit .481 in the 2019 American League Division Series.[41]

On October 13, 2019, Torres became the youngest second baseman in MLB history, third youngest overall (Mantle, Tony Kubek) to score 4+ RBI in a game, & youngest ever for 5+.

Personal life[edit]

Torres met his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth in his hometown of Caracas in 2014. They were married in April 2017.[1][42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gleyber Torres opens up about his past". MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Yankees Capitalize on 2nd Chance With Young Star Who Got Away - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Yankees' prospect Gleyber Torres tells story of original first name". NJ.com. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Unrest in Venezuela a constant for Torres". Newsday. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Tribune, Tom Noie South Bend. "Teenager Torres mature beyond years for Cubs". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cubs, top Venezuelan Torres agree to deal". Chicago Cubs. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  7. ^ Noie, Tom. "Teenager Torres mature beyond years for Cubs". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Chicago Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres moves up to Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans". MiLB.com. September 2, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Gonzales, Mark. "Cubs top prospects Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ assigned to Class-A Myrtle Beach". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  10. ^ Gonzales, Mark (July 25, 2016). "Cubs land marquee closer Aroldis Chapman from Yankees". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Next Derek Jeter? The Yankees Are Suddenly Full of Possibilities". The New York Times. July 31, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "Yankees' Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo already 'most touted middle infield' in minors". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  13. ^ "Gleyber Torres Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  14. ^ "Yankees teenage prospect Gleyber Torres named 2016 Arizona Fall League MVP". CBS Sports. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "Yankees prospect Torres named AFL MVP". MiLB.com. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "Gleyber Torres Stats & Scouting Report". Baseball America. December 13, 1996. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: All-Time Top 100 Prospects". www.baseballamerica.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  18. ^ "New York Yankees Place Gleyber Torres on the DL". Call to the Pen. April 20, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Feinsand, Mark (January 20, 2016). "Yankees' Gleyber Torres making case for Majors | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  20. ^ "New York Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss remainder of season". Espn.com. June 19, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  21. ^ "Torres out for season, will undergo Tommy John". Newsday. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres returns to hitting after Tommy John surgery". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  23. ^ King, George A. (November 20, 2017). "Yankees scramble to keep top-rated farm system together". Nypost.com. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  24. ^ "2018 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  25. ^ "Gleyber Torres ranked No. 1 shortstop prospect". MLB.com. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  26. ^ "Yankees send Gleyber Torres to minor-league camp". Newsday. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  27. ^ "How Gleyber Torres reacted to first big-league call-up". NJ.com. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  28. ^ Knobler, Danny. "Gleyber Torres debuts for Yankees". MLB.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  29. ^ "Gleyber Torres collects first MLB hit". MLB. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "Andujar, Torres and streaking Yankees top Indians 7-6". Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  31. ^ "Gleyber Torres hits walk-off HR as Yankees complete sweep of Indians". MLB. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  32. ^ Fitzpatrick, Mike. "Gleyber Torres becomes youngest Yankee ever to hit a walk-off homer". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  33. ^ "Gleyber Torres puts himself alongside Mantle with first multi-homer game". SNY. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Yankees phenom Gleyber Torres makes American League history with home run". CBSSports.com. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  35. ^ "Gleyber Torres named AL Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason". MLB.com. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "Gleyber Torres caps Yankees comeback with more walk-off magic". New York Post. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  37. ^ "Yankees' Torres, Pirates' Meadows named Rookies of the Month for May". MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  38. ^ "Gleyber Torres to DL with right hip strain". MLB. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  39. ^ Kernan, Kevin (July 8, 2018). "Yankees have at least four All-Stars — including Gleyber Torres". Nypost.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  40. ^ Yankees' Gleyber Torres sets divisional era record with 13th home run against Orioles - Andy Nesbitt, USA Today, 12 August 2019
  41. ^ "Gleyber Torres Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  42. ^ "Unrest in Venezuela a constant for Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres". Newsday. June 3, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2018.

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