The 93-mph fastball would’ve been ball four, but Gleyber Torres elected to swing.
It turned out to be the right decision, as the ball landed just inside the foul pole in the right field bleachers.
The 20-year-old shortstop, who also happens to be the Yankees’ top-ranked prospect, belted his first spring training home run off Tigers’ reliever Justin Wilson on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. It was one of three long balls that helped carry New York to a 7-1 win.
The short porch at Yankee Stadium is well-known for entertaining left-handed sluggers, but opposite-field power is also welcomed from righties–even if it’s not from the prettiest of swings.
“My mentality is to stay up the middle and if it goes out, it goes out,” Torres said through a translator to the New York Post. “I hit it and made good contact. I was just running hard. My teammates were very excited for me. They congratulated me and told me to keep playing hard. Just joking around.”
So far, Torres has lived up to his hype. In 19 at-bats this spring, he has eight hits, including a triple and four RBI.
“He’s impressive,” manager Joe Girardi told the Post. “I said it all along: I think he really understands how to hit. And he knows how to hit in different situations and in different counts. He’s very, very mature. We think from obviously seeing him play, our scouts seeing him play, that his swing fits our ballpark, too.”