Fantasy Baseball: Meet Gleyber Torres, the Yankees' top prospect getting the call

After missing half of last season with an elbow injury, the Yankees wanted to make sure Gleyber Torres was ready for good before they called him up to the majors. Apparently they saw what they needed to see after just 14 games, because Torres was pulled from Saturday's game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and is expected to make his MLB debut Sunday for the Yankees.

Yes, Fantasy owners should be excited. Yes, he's a must-add player in any format. Here's why.

Torres' MLB career should've started last year, but it's better late than never with a player this talented. He was tearing up the high-minors in 2017, hitting .287/.383/.480 before suffering his season-ending injury, and has showed no ill effects so far in 2018. Torres has hit .347 with five extra-base hits, five walks, and 10 strikeouts in his first 15 games this season.

As Scott White noted in his most recent <em>Prospects Report</em> column, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters the team wanted to make sure when Torres got the call, he was up for good. With Brandon Drury on the DL indefinitely with migraines and the combination of Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker and Tyler Wade failing to make much of an impact, the path to playing time for Torres is clear, even if his specific spot may not be. Torres has logged time at second, third, and shortstop in Triple-A so far this season, and he should be in the lineup somewhere pretty much everyday. The playing time shouldn't be a concern.

Neither should the bat. Of course, no prospect is a sure thing, but Torres isn't a consensus top-10 prospect for nothing. His overall minor-league numbers don't immediately jump off the page (.285/.362/.420), until you realize he was at least three years younger than the average player at pretty much every stop along the way. He was playing full-time in A-ball as an 18-year-old, and reached Double-A by the time he was 20, when the production finally measured up to the pedigree.

In 68 games as a 20- and 21-year-old at Double-A and Triple-A combined, he has hit .302/.389/.492, with eight homers, eight steals, and a 19.8 percent strikeout rate. That doesn't quite measure up to what Carlos Correa managed at the same point, but that's an awfully high bar to live up to; it is better than what Francisco Lindor was doing at the same time, though. Torres has shown an ability to put the bat on the ball and draw a walk at a young age in the minors, and he should only benefit from playing with the MLB ball in Yankee Stadium.

Even if Torres still needs some time to develop some pop, he comes to the majors with a relatively high floor thanks to his contact profile. Expect a batting average in the .280 range with double-digit power and speed numbers, and good run and RBI production in that lineup and ballpark. In the short term, Torres probably isn't a superstar, but he does project to be useful right out of the gate. Slot him in your lineup as a MI option right away.

And, of course, the upside is obvious. The pedigree is about as good as you could ask for, and the potential for triple eligibility only helps. If the livelier major-league ball helps his in-game power play up – and maybe the short porch in right field gives him a few extra homers, too – it's not out of the question that Torres could be a 20-20 threat even as a rookie. All of the reasons we were so excited about Phillies' rookie Scott Kingery apply here, in an even more promising package.

The downside is, well… Maybe he's just Dansby Swanson, and his toolbox full of 60-grade tools doesn't end up amounting to more than the sum of the parts right away. There's risk here, as there is with any prospect, but you have someone on your team worth dropping to take a chance on Torres. In the 30 percent of CBS Fantasy leagues where Torres is still available, he's an obvious must-add player. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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