The New York Yankees have reportedly come to terms with infielder Gleyber Torres on a one-year, $9.95 million deal that will avoid an arbitration hearing. It’s been an interesting 24 months for Torres, who has had to navigate difficult waters on the field and trade rumors off it yet. With Torres set to return to the Yanks for 2023, let’s take a look at the 26-year-old’s fantasy prospects for this upcoming season.
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A Look at Torres
Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres didn’t have much success during the 2021 campaign. After two 20+ home run campaigns in 2018 & 2019, Torres hit just nine home runs in his third full season — not counting 2020. The 2021 season was filled with issues for the 26-year-old, but a primary culprit behind the dip in production was an increase on getting on top of the baseball. Torres’ 29.4% Topped% rate marked a career-low for infielder who makes a living elevating and squaring up baseballs.
2022 marked a return to norms for Torres, for a number of reasons. Besides moving back to second base, Torres put up much better numbers at the plate. The infielder hit .257/.310/.457, an average very similar to 2021 but very different power numbers.
Per Statcast, Gleyber Torres didn’t saw a slight decrease in his “hot zones,” which are essentially in the middle and outer parts of the zone. Yet, he made the most of the pitches he saw. The infielder also became much more of an aggressive hitter at the plate. The 26-year-old posted career-lows in P/PA (3.89) and BB% (6.8%), and struck out a fair amount. Nonetheless, Torres produced for a Yankees team that need production from players not named Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo.
Torres’ 24 home runs ranked as the third-most for second basemen last season, behind only Jose Altuve (28) and Marcus Semien (26), and his 76 RBIs were the fourth-best among players at the position.
It was an impressive season for Torres, who has had his name thrown out in the rumor mill in recent months thanks in large part to the Yankees’ search for starting pitching. But now that the Yanks seem to have its rotation settled for 2023, Torres should stick in The Bronx for 2023.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Look, Torres has been a wild card in fantasy over the past three seasons. The Yankees infielder didn’t perform up to standards in 2020 or 2021, but did return to form last season. The 26-year-old boasts an impressive amount of strength and power, and Torres should benefit greatly from the likes of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo in front of the infielder.
ESPN’s 2023 preseason power rankings have Torres ranked as the 11th-best second baseman in MLB. To us, that seems a bit low. We do think that Torres provided a bit more fantasy potential than the likes of Ketel Marte and Jorge Polanco, both of whom were ranked ahead of Torres. It’s hard to consider Torres a top-five player at the position, and his newfound aggression at the plate could come to haunt him in 2023. However, Torres’ power and run production potential can’t be overlooked. We have him slotted in the 6-9 range among second basemen.