Welcome to the MLB Star Power Index -- a weekly temperature reading that tells us which players are owning the baseball conversation right now. While one's presence on this list is often a positive, it's not necessarily a good thing. It simply means that you're capturing the baseball world's attention for one reason or another. The players listed are in no particular order. Thanks to Brad Botkin and our CBS Sports NBA compadres for letting us borrow the concept. 

Gleyber Torres
NYY • SS • 25
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Fellow suckas, we need to give Gleyber Torres his due. The Yankees this season are bound headlong for 105 wins or so, and Torres has been a big reason for their success. Even so, it seems he's not getting the attention he merits. DJ LeMahieu has been perhaps the best free agent addition of the past offseason, and Gio Urshela has defied anyone's reasonable expectations. The daisy chain of injuries has also sucked up a lot of Yankee bandwidth, as has the return of Aaron Judge and the absence of Giancarlo Stanton. You're familiar now with the pecking order of 2019 Yankees storylines. 

In Torres, though, we've got a 22-year-old middle infielder who presently owns an OPS+ of 134 to go with 36 home runs. Right now he's on pace to end that age-22 campaign with precisely 40 homers while spending the majority of his defensive innings at shortstop. (He's shuffled between short and second since the return of Didi Gregorius.) Speaking of all that, here's an exhaustive list of primary shortstops to hit at least 30 home runs in a season before the age of 23: 

Player, yearHome runs

Alex Rodriguez, 1998


Alex Rodriguez, 1996


Gleyber Torres, 2019


Torres is quite obviously in elite company here, and he's got a shot at breaking A-Rod's record. 

Are we cheating a bit? In the event that Gregorius, who's in his walk year, signs elsewhere, then Torres is the shortstop of the future in the Bronx. That's also the position at which Torres spent roughly 90 percent of his minor-league defensive innings. Even so, let's bow to current realities for the first time ever and acknowledge that Torres has spent the majority of his MLB career at second base. Right now, he's sitting on 60 career home runs through 256 games. As it turns out, just two players have hit more home runs than Torres through age 22 while playing at least 50 percent of their games at short or second. Those players are the aforementioned A-Rod (106 home runs in 513 games) and Carlos Correa of the Astros (66 home runs through 361 games). Our hero of course has piled up his homers in much fewer games. 

None of this is all that surprising, given that Torres was a consensus top-10 overall prospect when the Yankees acquired him from the Cubs in July of 2016 as part of the Aroldis Chapman swap. To say that he's developed as hoped is obviously an understatement -- Torres is a capable defensive infielder with a career slash line of .280/.343/.518, and he doesn't turn 23 until December. We often talk about how the Yankees are well positioned in the here and now and for the future. No single pinstriper better embodies such an enviable outlook more than Torres. 

Justin Turner
LAD • 3B • 10
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Not so long ago in this hallowed space we shouted-out Bryce Harper of the Phillies for being one of the most clutch players of 2019 (that's still the case, by the way). Now, it's time to slum it on the other end of the continuum. Justin Turner, assume the position. 

Know this: We come not to empty the dimensionless bowels of Star Power Index upon Turner while he naps. This is merely a recounting of True Internet Facts. Look, he's having yet another strong season at the plate (131 OPS+, 27 homers in 131 games), and the fact that he's racked up more than $50 million in earnings after being cut loose by the Mets at age 29 is testament to his drive and adaptability. All that said ... 

  • Turner this season has a .921 OPS with the bases empty and an .806 OPS with runners in scoring position. 
  • When the game is "late and close," Turner has an OPS of just .581, but that figure rises to 1.137 when the margin is more than four runs (i.e., when the game is probably over). 
  • In high-leverage/clutch situations this season Turner has an OPS of .698; in low-leverage or relatively unimportant situations, Turner has an OPS of .997. 
  • According to the Clutch measure at FanGraphs, which evaluates the extent to which a player steps up his production in clutch spots relative to his baseline in non-clutch spots, Turner this season has been the least clutch player in all of baseball. Specifically, he ranks 141st out of 141 qualifiers in the clutch measure. 

As you can see, Turner this season has been decidedly non-clutch, even as he, as noted, has been highly productive overall. As those who know often say, there are clutch performances but not clutch players. This is pretty much true. Turner's clutch numbers was wandered all over the map over the course of his career, and that's because it's not really reflective of any true skill (ballplayers who vaporize under pressure tend to be weeded out long before they reach the majors). The statistical reality, though, is that Turner this season has struggled in important spots. This of course hasn't hurt the Dodgers all that much, as they've already clinched the division and are vying for best record in baseball. Given that, no one in L.A. is going to sweat clutch performance very much until the calendar flips to October. Turner, by the way, owns a line of .313/.420/.503 across 49 career playoff games. 

Khris Davis
OAK • DH • 11
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Khris Davis is known for many things. Here are two of them: home runs and batting .247. The Oakland cloutsman across his seven-year career has averaged 39 home runs per 162 games played, and -- in one of the great ongoing miracles of the Occident -- has managed to bat .247 in each of the last four seasons. Like a crab holding a cig, this is as absurd as it is beautiful. Here's a crab holding a cig: 

That said, a glance at the preposterous, lame numbers above will reveal that Davis this season is batting .222, which the bottom-liner will recognize as "not .247." More depressingly, it's getting late out there, and Davis is running out of time to satisfy that which was assumed to be written in the stars and or upon the walls of a Mesopotamian talus cave. Hip and oblique issues have likely contributed to his current deficit, but the time for not yelling about this has passed. 

In this space, though, we're about solutions. Davis to date has averaged 3.64 at-bats per game played. Let's assume he plays in all of Oakland's remaining 16 games. Rounded off, that comes to 58 remaining at-bats. That would give him 491 at-bats for the season. As it turns out, you can't get to .247 with 491 at-bats, so what Davis must do is stop at 490 at-bats. Over his next 57 ABs, he needs exactly 25 hits. That gets him to .247, at which point he should remove himself from any remaining regular season games. Of course, he also gets to .247 by going 15 for his next 16, at which point he should walk away in glory until the AL Wild Card Game (probably). 

Ah, whatever, he's not going to do it. This is stupid.

Michael Lorenzen
LAA • RP • 25
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Michael Lorenzen of the Reds pitches, hits and plays the outfield. This season he has hit and pitched very well while being perfectly fine in the outfield (he's spent time at all three outfield positions, mind you). This allows him to do things that do not happen often. For instance: 

"Compelling stuff," you sniff, "but Ruth was the better baseball player." 

Relative to his peer group, sure, no doubt about that. You've said something reasonable, if unnecessary. But then you go too far. "Ruth in his day could also have beaten Michael Lorenzen in a fight."

Well, now you've done it. You've claimed Babe Ruth in his day could beat Michael Lorenzen in a fight. Pshaw. Let's see, on one side you've got encased meats, cigars and possibly syphilis. On the other side, you've got the kind of pythons you can't buy in a pet store: 

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

Mmm hmm. Here's how this magisterial ass-whipping would go. 

"That's enough guff from you, you ill-mannered mully-tuffles," Ruth would say to Lorenzen as he trundles over to him. "Here come the Ruth family soupbones to smite some wits into you, see!" 

Lorenzen sighs deeply and rolls his eyes before easily parrying Ruth's creaky haymaker attempt and then lifts the Bambino into powerbomb position and slams him through a glass table that's for some reason positioned above an uncovered manhole. Ruth predictably enough gets stuck in the manhole, but Lorenzen gamely elbow-drops his head until he oozes through. Lorenzen then makes his way down into the municipal sewer and works Ruth's ribs over until he's a big, dumb, dead steak. That's how that would go. 

Michael Lorenzen, if transported back in time to 1920 or thereabouts, could beat Babe Ruth in a fight. That's what it says here.