The Yankees had lots of heroes in Game 1 against the Astros, but Gleyber Torres was the star that shone the brightest for the Bronx Bombers.
Gleyber Torres may only be 22 years of age, but he’s already blossoming into a legitimate superstar for the Yankees. His virtuoso performance against the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS announced to the world that Torres is emerging as the brightest star on Aaron Boone’s ballclub.
That’s quite a statement given all of the star power that resides in the Yankees’ locker room. Players like Aaron Judge loom large literally and figuratively in the Bronx. Going three for give with a home run and 5 RBIs on the road to open the series against Houston was an emphatic statement by Torres that he’s ready to become the face of the franchise.
Saturday night didn’t represent Torres’ first good game of the postseason. Instead, it was a continuation of the second baseman’s fine play this October. The fine performance against the Astros simply brought Torres’ postseason batting average up to .471. He was a big reason why the Yankees were able to dispatch the Twins via a three game sweep too. The Venezuelan star is playing his best baseball at the best time possible for the Yankees’ hopes of ending their World Series drought.
That’s pretty solid production for a player the Yankees were able to acquire for what equated to a three-month rental of closer Aroldis Chapman. The Cubs got the World Series title their franchise desperately needed in the deal, but it’s hard to argue that the Yankees didn’t win the trade. Torres was a highly rated prospect at the time and he’s exceeded those lofty expectations during his time in pinstripes.
Right now, he’s the most dangerous hitter in New York’s lineup. You can see just how cautious pitchers are when he strolls up to the plate. Torres isn’t seeing many prime fastballs to hit but he’s still making solid contact nearly every at bat.
The way Torres goes about his business at the plate makes him particularly fun for Yankees fans to watch. Early in counts you can see him take some wild swings at pitches outside of the zone. His approach changes completely later in counts or when runners are on base though. When the pressure mounts, Torres locks in mentally and shortens up his swing. That allows him to produce valuable base hits for his club when they need them the most.
If Torres’ hot play ends up in a 28th World Series title for the Yankees then he’s going to become the biggest star the team has employed since Derek Jeter. That may be a lot of pressure to heap on a 22-year-old, but Torres has the talent and temperament to take it all in stride.