After slugger Giancarlo Stanton chose to team up with the likes of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in New York this past offseason, it was clear that the ‘Bronx Bombers’ were back. The Yankees currently have a 56-28 record, which ranks them third in the entire AL behind only the rival Boston Red Sox, and the defending champion Houston Astros. While Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez have all hit their share of home-runs, there is an unexpected name that is currently tied for third on the team with 15 home runs.
That name is Gleyber Torres, the power-hitting rookie second baseman that the Yankees called up in late April. Since bursting on the scene a little over two months ago, the 21-year-old has been unstoppable as he carries a batting line just under .300 at .294 with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs. In a lineup of all-stars, Torres has flown under the radar for the Yanks, but you can bet that people are beginning to know the name, Torres. So just where did this hidden gem come from? Here is a little background information on the Yankees rookie slugger:
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Torres was born into a middle-class family, but due to numerous rebellions against the government in his area, life was far from easy growing up. Growing up idolizing players like Omar Vizquel, it was clear from a young age that Torres was a special talent. Despite a clear talent for baseball, Gleyber was also a solid basketball player and played in high school, until his father advised him he should stop playing to focus on baseball. At the age of 14, he moved to Maracay to go to an academy that many MLB scouts took note of. The move paid off in 2013 when after being sought out by the Chicago Cubs, Torres signed a contract with them as an international free agent.
After signing in 2013, Gleyber made his professional debut in 2014 for the Cubs Arizona League team. After a successful start, he was promoted to the clubs Class-A affiliate. The 2015 season was much of the same as he started in Class-A and was eventually promoted to the clubs Class-A Advanced team, where he would play until being included in the Cubs 2016 trade for Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees.
Torres started his Yankee career again at the Class-A Advanced level, and after a successful season was invited to play for the team’s Arizona Fall League affiliate, the Scottsdale Scorpions. At the age of just 19, Torres went on to hit .403 with a .513 on-base percentage en route to becoming the youngest league MVP in history. After this, Torres headed into the 2017 season ranked as the Yankees top prospect and the 5th best prospect in all of Baseball. After being invited to Yankees Spring Training, where he hit .448 with two home runs in 28 at-bats, Torres began the season with the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees AA affiliate. Unsurprisingly, it was not long before he was promoted to AAA where in June of that season, he would sustain an injury to his non-throwing elbow that would require season-ending Tommy John surgery.
After being invited back to Spring Training in 2018, Torres was designated for assignment to start the year but was called up by the end of April. Gleyber made his MLB debut on April 22, and despite going 0-4 in his debut hasn’t looked back since. Tied for third on the team in home runs, and batting average, Torres is also fourth on the Yanks in RBIs proving to everyone that he is ready to compete at the highest level. As we near the All-Star break, Torres is proving to be one of the most productive players in a lineup of stars, and right now it seems as if the sky is the limit for the 21-year-old slugger and this imposing Yankees squad.