NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) — One of the top prospects in baseball made his MLB debut on Sunday.
The New York Yankees called up infielder Gleyber Torres in time for Sunday’s game, the team announced Sunday morning. He started at second base and went 0 for 4 in the Bombers’ 5-1 win over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.
Torres, 21, came over from the Chicago Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade at the 2016 deadline. He has since emerged as an elite prospect — Torres became the youngest batting champ and MVP in Arizona Fall League history two years ago — and Sunday he’ll begin the process of joining New York’s core.
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MLB.com current ranks Torres, who came into Saturday hitting .370/.415/.543 with one home run in 13 Triple-A games this season, as the fifth-best prospect in the game at the moment. Here’s a snippet of their scouting report:
Torres has exceptionally quick hands that allow him to excel from the right side of the plate and make plays in the field. Always an advanced hitter for his age, he recognizes pitches well, uses the entire field and has improved his walk and strikeout rates in each of his seasons in full-season ball. He makes adjustments easily and also has hit for more power each year as well as he has gotten stronger, projecting as a hitter who can contend for batting titles while providing 20-plus homers annually … (He) has the tools to be a star wherever he winds up (defensively).
If not for a fluke elbow injury, chances are Torres would’ve been called up at some point last season. He suffered a torn ligament in his left (non-throwing) elbow on an awkward slide into home plate last June and needed season-ending Tommy John surgery. Torres was hitting .287/.383/.480 in 55 games split between Double-A and Triple-A the time of the injury.
Torres is a natural shortstop, but because the Yankees have Didi Gregorius entrenched at the position, he’s been working out at second and third bases since last season. Fellow rookie infielder Miguel Andujar has been performing well at third base lately, so chances are the Yankees will use Torres at second base, where Tyler Wade and Neil Walker have struggled.
Given the timing of the call-up, the Yankees have already delayed Torres’ free agency one year. They will have him for the remaining 143 games of 2018 plus six full years from 2019-24.
The Yankees also announced they optioned Tyler Wade to Triple-A and designated utility player Jace Peterson for assignment.