The Cubs continued their international signing day spending with a bit of a splash, reportedly agreeing to a deal with Gleyber Torres out of Venezuela. The shortstop is ranked third on MLB.com’s overall international prospect list. The cost to reel in the top three talent was at the tune of $1.7 million dollars, nearing half off the pool money Chicago has to work with during this period. Ben Badler of Baseball America rates Torres as a potential fringe five tool player that has been compared to infielder Freddy Sanchez.
Torres is right handed and has a six foot even, 170 pound frame to work off of. The 17 year old currently has his glove and arm rated ahead of his bat, but his projected ability to hit and hit for power will look to surpass his defensive work and make him an all around Major League player. A pair of key attributes that Cubs fans will find refreshing are the compact swing and sound fundamentals that Torres boasts. Considering that Theo Epstein and Company are trying to implement the “Cubs Way” after taking over for a regime that had no organizational structure, Torres appears to fit the mold. Torres makes all of the routine plays at short and has the ability to make one or two outstanding plays. If that translates to average range at short, Torres could also be considered as a future second base candidate.
The North Siders have not shied away from continuing to amass position prospects despite concern over starting pitching, and the signing of Torres represents a “best overall available talent” approach during this signing period while keeping their allotted pool constraints in mind.