Yankees Hot Corner – Gleyber Torres makes debut, Andujar shines again
Late on Saturday night, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell pulled Gleyber Torres from their game. There was no reason given as to why and Torres was concerned he had done something wrong. Torres had to wait, and wait some more, until the game was over. Once the entire team was in the clubhouse, Mitchell revealed that Torres had been called up to the New York Yankees. The locker room exploded with cheer as the 21-year old was getting hugs and high fives from all of his AAA teammates.
The story of Gleyber Torres is an interesting one. He is of Venezuelan descent and used his impressive baseball ability to make a life outside of his native country. Growing up, he played centerfield, catcher, pitcher, and shortstop. For a 21-year old kid, he is extremely mature and well-spoken. He’s already married and, according to Suzyn Waldman of WFAN, taught himself English and has grown leaps and bounds language wise in just the past year.
It’s a long time coming for the top prospect in the Yankees farm system, a highly touted infielder who was traded as part of the Aroldis Chapman deal to the Cubs. The deal worked out double for the Yankees as they received a great package for Chapman and wound up re-signing him after his short but sweet stint in Chicago. Torres has an aura about him despite having played just one major league game. He’s probably the most hyped Yankees prospect since Robinson Cano, who has done alright for himself.
Regardless of what kind of pressures are put on Torres, he is up for good and is looking forward to getting to work. He played in his first game Sunday afternoon, going 0-for-4 with a couple of strikeouts. He looked comfortable at the plate but was batting eighth and therefore didn’t get much to hit. On top of that, the stress of playing in New York and the pressures of your first Major League game for sure weighed on the young prospect. He’ll be just fine, as will Giancarlo Stanton.
Andujar shining in new role
He may not have been as highly touted or talked about, but Miguel Andujar is making the case so far as the cream of the crop in terms of recent prospects. Never one to shy away from the limelight, Andujar got off to a scorching hot start during Spring Training but was sent down due to being the odd man out in the infield. The Yankees already had signed Neil Walker and traded for Brandon Drury, so Andujar started the season in Scranton. After a few weeks and a strange concussion related injury to Drury, Andujar was back in the fold and it doesn’t look like he wants to let go of the third base position.
Andujar has been on fire of late, batting .308 so far this season after getting off to a rough start. He’s 13 for his last 19 and has six straight games started with an extra base hit. He was 4-for-4 on Sunday with two extra base hits and an RBI. It’s going to be interesting to see how the infield plays out with Torres now up and Drury hopefully coming back later. Either way, it’s a good problem to have and Andujar has stepped up big time with this opportunity to play.
The Yankees are going through a serious youth movement, such a far cry from the worn down team the Yankees have had the past few years. Gone are the contracts and injury prone players that weighed down the Bronx Bombers and in are the exuberant, smiling young faces of the new core. Guys like Torres and Andujar are just the tip of the iceberg for this young Yankees group. This was the youngest lineup the Yankees have put together since 1989 and the first time since 1942 that every single player starting was under the age of 30. It’s a complete 180 from what it was just a few years ago, and Brian Cashman deserves all the credit in the world for this turnaround. Now let’s go win a 28th championship.