Why Gleyber Torres Failed

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Following the 2019 season, the Yankees faced uncertainty about the future of shortstop. In hindsight, we know that the team opted to let beloved ”sir” Didi Gregorius sign with another team and Gleyber Torres to step into the role of Yankee shortstop.

Torres Flopped

We saw a few glimpses of Torres at shortstop in a few scattered parts of the season. Based on those few appearance’s, i advocated against him moving off of second base. I got absolutely torched on Twitter, and now I get the last laugh. I would like to take this time to explain what I saw and continued to see in Gleyber that makes him a less than ideal shortstop.

In a very broad sense, Gleyber cuts corners in his fielding mechanics that create opportunities for things to go wrong.

A Tough Act to Follow

Let us compare him to the king of consistency, Derek Jeter. Jeter’s dependability comes from his near impeccable consistency and commitment to proper mechanics, particularly when charging the ball. Outside of a reach, I cannot recall a video of Jeter one-handing a ground ball . He always comes in with two hands (the ”alligator” as some little league coaches call it), with his hands in front of him, feet spread, butt sunk, and feet planted to ensure a balanced throw.

Gleyber is nearly the opposite. Gleyber one-hands easy ground balls, making it more likely for him to lose control of the baseball, which he often times does. Second, Torres throws the ball on the run, making his body off balance, his release point inconsistent, and more likely to miss a throw. It would not be nearly as problematic if this was done on difficult plays, but they are not. Gleyber Torres makes easy plays difficult for himself, and it costs his team.

If I were to guess why Torres has these habits, my guess would he that he is not confident in his ability to make the play quickly. This makes sense, because all of Torres’ corner cutting is done with the intent to save time.

Bounce Back Opportunity

Weirdly, this is the reason why I am confident in Torres’ chances to reestablish himself in 2022 when he moves back to second base. At second, he is closer to the first baseman, therefore has more time to complete the play. My hope is that this reestablishes his comfort level, therefore confidence, and ultimately result in better performance.

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