ANAHEIM, Calif. — Gleyber Torres played to rave reviews during every step of his development in the minor leagues, so it’s not surprising that the same has been true of his first week in the big leagues.
Torres, 21, who made his debut last Sunday, entered Saturday night 6-for-22 (.273) with a double, a walk and three strikeouts.
That’s respectable, but what has stood out to Aaron Boone is Torres’ work at second base, a position that the natural shortstop didn’t start playing with any regularity until last season.
“He looks like a seasoned second baseman with a shortstop’s arm,” Boone said before Saturday night’s game, in which Torres batted ninth. “I knew he was a good defender but I think he’s been great out there. There’s a confidence, there’s a heartbeat, there’s a clock that he plays with out there that’s really impressive. More so than maybe I even thought.”
Boone said Torres in the field reminds him of the Cubs’ Javier Baez, known for his ability with the glove, particularly on tag plays. (Giancarlo Stanton also has said that Torres reminds him of Baez.)
“Just watching the way he goes after a ball, there’s just a real comfort,” Boone said. “That double play he made [Friday] night [on Albert Pujols to end the fourth]. Just no rush, a calmness to the way he does it. Has really good hands for playing second but a shortstop’s arm. And I think overall his at-bats have been really strong. I’ve been really pleased with how he’s played and I like how he’s settled in in his initial days in the big leagues.”
Miguel Andujar collected two more doubles Friday night, giving him an extra-base hit in nine of his last 11 games and improving the rookie to 18-for-44 (.409) with 11 doubles, three homers and a triple in that stretch. He added another double Saturday night as the Yankees took a 10-0 lead after two innings.
Brandon Drury, acquired in the offseason to be the starting third baseman, is in the midst of a rehab assignment and presumably will return in the near future. Boone remained noncommittal about who will play where when Drury comes back.
“Brandon we view as a third baseman, but Brandon’s played all over the place as well,” Boone said. “He’s a versatile guy, but we view him as a front-line third baseman. Both of them. Those are potential decisions we’ll have to sort out in the coming days.’’
Lost somewhat in the craziness of the Yankees’ 10-inning, 4-3 victory over the Angels on Friday night were two terrific running catches made by Stanton in leftfield.
“I was thinking about him a lot last night afterward,” Boone said. “Just think about a National League MVP coming to our team and all that means coming to New York, and all he’s been is a great teammate. We’re going to DH you, we’re going to throw you in left, we’re going to put you in right. And all he’s done is worked his butt off. I’m so appreciative of a guy of his stature and who he’s been in that room [the clubhouse].”
Boone, who went to USC and remains a staunch supporter of the Trojans, could not have been happier when the Jets selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
“Have to get him out to a Yankees game,” Boone said with a smile. “I’m excited for that, excited that he’ll be in the Big Apple.”