The Yankees 2019 World Series hopes ended prematurely in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after defeat to the Houston Astros. After that, Gleyber Torres only afforded himself just three to four weeks off before returning to training for the 2020 season.
There’s no doubt that Torres’s production played a part in the Yankees topping the American League East and securing an ALCS berth against Houston. 38 home runs, 90 RBI and an OPS of .871 are certainly great numbers for a sophomore season.
Gleyber Torres Using What He Has Learned
Torres played a prominent role for the Yankees in 2019 at second base and shortstop. With the departure of Didi Gregorius – to create financial flexibility for Gerrit Cole’s free-agent arrival, Torres should see even more time at shortstop in 2020.
It’s a position that he is familiar with, having played the role with distinction during his minor league days. Indeed, shortstop is Torres’s natural position and should bring him a great deal of comfort. Torres was signed as a a shortstop as an international free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 2013. He transitioned to second base as he prepared for MLB as the Yankees had Gregorius manning shortstop already.
Torres spoke humbly about the respect he holds of the departed Gregorius, who taught him a lot in the last two seasons. He has since reached an agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies, paying him $14 million for 2020. Gregorius’s slash line in the two years they played together was .256/.313/.476. He hit 43 home runs with 147 RBI and turned 102 double plays in that span, as well.
Now, Torres believes the time is right for him to defend his job at shortstop. If he and the rest of his teammates do perform to the best of their abilities in 2020, the Yankees may be celebrating their first World Series win in over a decade.
Last season, an injury list of record-setting proportions denied them a lot of their star power throughout the season. In spite of that, they won 103 regular season games but could not advance beyond the ALCS.
Furthermore, the addition of Cole creates a starting rotation that few MLB teams can stack up against. Despite the losses of Gregorius and Dellin Betances, their roster is quite complete on paper. This is especially true with Gleyber Torres becoming the full-time shortstop, and DJ LeMahieu moving to his natural second base.
Confident Yankees fans will no doubt already be wagering on their team’s World Series chances. That being said, some may be forced to head across state lines into New Jersey to do so. Although New York legalized sports betting in commercial casinos, it’s still not an option online or via mobile. Unlike New Jersey, whose legalized sports betting climate is coming of age and is just a short train ride away from Yankees fans.