Prized trade deadline acquisition Gleyber Torres is living up to the hype in the Arizona Fall League.
The 19-year-old shortstop from Caracas, Venezuela owns the second best average in the fall. Hitting .429 with an on-base percentage of .520, Torres has not slowed down in six games. As a matter of fact, he was recently named as the AFL’s player of the week.
Torres signed with the Cubs for $1.7 million in 2013 as a 16-year-old as one of the top targets of many teams during that time.
Not only is he shining as a shortstop, but he has played second base for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Torres has voiced his emotions since joining the Yankees and the chance to play for the storied franchise.
“I’m very emotional about this new opportunity with the New York Yankees,” said Torres via mlb.com. “I’ve read and seen how the fans have been paying attention to my development and, look, that’s what inspires me to keep working and give them happiness in New York in the big leagues.”
Time will tell on the young prospect, but first impressions are important, especially in New York and he is making it count.
Bird started his big league career in 2015 before an injury forced him to miss all of 2016. He is back in the fall league, after winning the AFL MVP in 2014 in addition to blasting a league-high six homers.
After the torn labrum this year, Bird has gotten off to a fair start in the AFL this year. The first-basemen is batting .258 with six RBI’s in eight games. A small sample size for Bird, but a positive sign the run production is there in limited playing time.
A third basemen by trade, Andujar is swinging a healthy bat this fall. In the top ten in batting average, he has burst onto the scene this fall.
Holding a .346 average and .419 on-base percentage, the highest-priced Yankee international class signee in 2011 offers well above-average raw power and arm strength.
Andujar is building off a strong 2016 campaign after hitting .273 with 12 long balls in 130 games. Splitting time between Class A Advanced and Double-A at age 21, he is forcing his way to the top of the prospect watch in the AFL.
The 16th overall pick in 2015 currently holds three starts in the AFL. After a quick start with three innings of shutout ball, Kaprielian owns an ERA of 4.82 in nine and a third innings.
With 12 strikeouts and ten hits given up, the potential frontline starter is still easing his way back after straining a flexor muscle in his forearm at the end of the 2016 season.
The right-hander holds a steady fastball at 94 mph with a curveball and changeup that are plus pitches still in development.
Acquired in the Carlos Beltran deal, Tate has struggled to find his footing early in the AFL season. In four appearances the righty owns an ERA of 7.20 in five innings.
A small sample size for the hard-throwing starter, Tate has been criticized by many, but has not stayed healthy enough to gauge a true judgment of production. The talent level is evident with the lively fastball, but a hamstring injury in 2016 hampered his development.
The No. 4 pick in the 2015 Draft is receiving extra work this fall as a reliever to get back on track. There is plenty of time for Tate to recover and start his Yankees career, but health has been the main concern.
Part of the Andrew Miller deal with Cleveland at the deadline, the reliever has appeared in four games during the AFL season. The righty has started off slow with an ERA of 7.20 in five innings.
A 36th round selection in 2013 out of high school, the left-hander is still adjusting to the life in the pros. In 2016 he started to grasp the game at a higher level, tossing to an 11-4 record complimented with a 1.53 ERA. Added to the AFL roster late, Cortes has yet to see action.
The Arizona Fall League does not mean boom or bust for prospects of all levels, but the start of Torres and Andujar has Yankees fans and scouts ecstatic.