Look, I’m not going here and pretend that this love letter to Gleyber Torres is something you haven’t read before on any other site. It’s quite well known by now that Torres is the de facto “rebound” selection going into the 2021 season. I guess everyone knows that Torres had a pretty terrible 2020. What this post presupposes is… maybe he didn’t? Look, I’m not going to be that guy, since I’m not nearly brave enough to, and go full contrarian here, but I think it’s still worth looking a bit more on what makes Torres so primed for that breakout, if the analysis out there matches some basic litmus tests, and the idea that if this player truly is the rebound avatar that everyone loves to have, how much should you really pay for him? That and more after the jump!

Yo, it’s been a while. That sentence is also the opening to my rap-ballad based on the true life story of Christian Slater. While the term isn’t true at all when it comes to our conversation, after all, you literally just clicked into this post, one could say that it’s been a while since 2020. True, that year was just two months ago, but using legitimate science and math, skills I’ve become most proficient in, we actually have experienced five centuries including fifty-eight “infrastructure” weeks total. And you know, you’d be forgiving in forgetting that while Gleyber Torres’ 2020 was a bit underwhelming, there were viable markers that we can point to that would probably have no to little long-standing effect. Prime example number one would be a Grade 1 left quad strain and a Grade 1 left hamstring strain.

2019 144 0.278 0.337 0.535 0.358
2020 42 0.243 0.356 0.368 0.326
Projections 148 0.284 0.364 0.526 0.370

Hitting a 2020 slash of .243/.356/.368, Brian Cashman immediately resorted to fat-shaming, which I always find peculiar in the least athletic gateway sport next to the pick-up basketball game at the YMCA on a Tuesday night. Tony Gwynn, my favorite player of all-time, hit .372 at age 37 at a time when his thighs were bigger than my head. That being said, I’m sure Torres losing a few pounds would be like Cashman growing some hair: a positive outcome. And wouldn’t you know it, over the course of the regular season, Torres began responding, saving his true skillset for the playoffs, including a staggering .714/.800/1.143 slash against Cleveland.

2019 604 7.9 21.4 0.256 0.296
2020 160 13.8 17.5 0.125 0.286

Keep focus on the BB/K numbers, while I agree the ISO number is lacking, we can certainly attribute that aspect to injuries.

2019 20.9 37.2 41.9 21.5
2020 19.4 41.7 38.9 7.1

Again, stability in these numbers sans the HR/FB.

YEAR O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% SwStr% Zone%
2019 35.1 76.3 51.8 13.2 40.9
2020 25.6 68.1 41.9 10.6 38.3

Improvements across the board, I mean, don’t get too excited, but look at the the O-Swing% and Zone%. Dropping your swings outside the zone when pitchers throw a bit more out there is exactly what you want to see from a young batter just on the cusp of entering his prime.

YEAR O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact%
2019 60.3 83.8 74.4
2020 63.2 81.7 74.7

In terms of weight, don’t let that tall fat tale fool you, while it doesn’t take a genius to admit that physical health and production are tied together inexorably, we can’t ignore all the good that happened too when Torres was supposedly huffing down B-K lounge whilst drowning in Nutella, and those are the encouraging plate discipline numbers that shined no matter the power outages, slumps, and injuries that he experienced last year along with all the other prominent stats listed above.

Entering into a comparatively normal season, it’s pretty normal to latch onto value, and not just that, locating the most value to be gained. The meta concept here is that we all know Gleyber Torres is better than last year. While I’ll let the contrarians out there enjoy being contrarian for its own sake, there is real data behind saying that we haven’t seen anything yet from this 24-year-old middle infielder. A bit non-sensical to call him a value play then if everyone thinks of him as “value”. So I guess the natural question we have to answer and what was alluded to in the lede, and that is, should you go for it?

Yeah, is the simple answer. Think about it this way, part of the cost fallacy I see here is the idea that you’re paying extra for a perceived value that really isn’t there. Or to put another way, why should we pay full price for a player that is coming off a year that demands a discount? A very cogent point, and of course I’d expect myself to always be cogent (lol). While the decision is ultimately up to you, I’d urge any fantasy owner to weigh the metrics, not just the quick run down that we’ve done here, but really look at the data and then add into that the age, the team around him, and the depth of position. So go crazy, I give you permission. I mean, you know, be rational, do draft the Tatis’ (Tateeses?), the Turners, and Story’s or Lindor’s, but as those names come off the board, you bet I’m going to jump at the chance for 30+ home runs with plate discipline. I mean, are you really going to trust your team to someone named Dansby?

No. Nothing ever good happened from someone named Dansby. Or Mitch, but that’s neither here nor there…




Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong.