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Yankees’ Gleyber Torres has lived up to the hype

Gleyber Torres, #81, of the New York Yankees

Gleyber Torres, #81, of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Getty Images / Justin K. Aller

Gleyber Torres entered spring training as one of the most hyped prospects in the sport, and he hasn’t disappointed.

He’s even converted a skeptic or two.

Not that there were many.

“Let’s put it this way,” one opposing team scout said. “If the Yankees turn out to be wrong on him, then everyone was wrong on him.”

Another scout who has followed the Yankees much of spring training said he brought a “clean slate” regarding Torres into the Grapefruit League season because he had never seen the prospect in person before.

“I thought maybe it [some of the hype] could be one of those things where everyone just kind of gets carried away, which happens sometimes,” the talent evaluator said. “For me, [after watching Torres], I get it. I’m in.”

Performances like the one Torres had Saturday show why.

After falling behind in the count against Tigers righthander Edward Mujica in the sixth inning, Torres worked it to 3-and-2. He then hit an outside fastball the other way, poking it down the rightfield line for his first exhibition homer. A stiff wind blowing that way might have helped, but regardless, his numbers are stellar: a .421/.429/.842 slash line in 12 games.

“I thought I hit it well, but I didn’t think it was leaving,” Torres said through his translator.

Of his two-strike approach, he said: “The mentality is to stay up the middle, make sure you get good contact and stay up the middle. If it goes out, it goes out.”

Torres has earned high marks for his work in the field, which included stints at second base and shortstop on Saturday.

“He’s impressive,” Joe Girardi said. “I’ve said all along, I think he really understands how to hit and he knows how to hit in situations. He’s very, very mature. His swing fits our ballpark, too.”


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