It’s been a frustrating week for Chicago Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres, batting .217 in 23 at bats and striking out nine times.
Pelican’s manager Buddy Bailey told MiLB.com earlier this week, “He’s been more patient at the plate. Earlier, he was trying to do too much. He was swinging at pitches out of the zone, the way a lot of players get into trouble,”
That all changed Saturday as the Pelicans took on the Winston-Salem Dash (39-54). Torres reached base five times on three walks and two doubles, driving in four runs. Myrtle Beach outlasted Winston-Salem in 12 innings, bringing home a 12-10 victory.
Torres drew his first walk in the first inning against Chicago White Sox No. 13 prospect Jordan Stephens, promptly swiping second thereafter. He later added a two-run double in the third, tying the game at three. Torres added another double in the fifth but was thrown out trying to steal third.
More from Chicago Cubs Prospects
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- MLB Pipeline ranks Pete Crow-Armstrong as Cubs top prospect
- Cubs Prospect Spotlight: Luis Devers continues to dominate
- Cubs: Alexander Canario wins Southern League Player of the Month
- Cubs: Hayden Wesneski already among team’s top prospects
Torres walked again in the seventh and eighth as the Pelicans grew their lead to 10-7, but couldn’t hold on.
In the twelfth, Torres reached on a sacrifice bunt that turned into a fielder’s choice. Back-to-back singles by teammates Ian Rice and Jason Vosler added the game-winning runs.
“It isn’t his swing or anything like that, it’s basically what [he] swing[s] at,” Bailey said about Torres’ recent struggles via MiLB.com.
This season, Torres is hitting .268 with an OPS of .770, his highest since playing with the Boise Hawks. The 19-year-old shortstop has been inconsistent at the plate this year, a trait that has kept him in A-ball since the Cubs signed him in 2014.
“But he’s gotten comfortable and he’s trying to do less. His pitch selection has gotten better and, obviously, the results are better.”
Torres’ power numbers are trending upwards, something the Cubs front office can look forward to once Eloy Jimenez makes “The Show”. This season, Torres is slugging .420 with a career-high nine home runs for the Pelicans. His 43 RBI are second on the team, just ahead of Ian Happ, and he leads the team in hits with 91.
The only piece of Torres’ game that seems to be missing is his defense. He leads the team in errors with 18. If Torres is going to make his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs, especially at shortstop, he will have to sure-up his play in the field in order to take any time away from Addison Russell.
“He’s still [learning] in every area,” Bailey said in May. “There have been some errors along the way, but the kid’s 19 years old and he’s playing [Advanced] A-ball.”
Torres has been dropped to the No. 3 spot in the lineup, batting .299 since Happ’s promotion to Double-A Tennessee. Torres batted .267 in the 267 at bats he took in the No. 2 spot.
Torres said recently that he models his game after Miguel Cabrera, another Venezuelan national playing in the Grande Liga. If Torres’ skills keep trending upwards, it won’t be long before the Friendly Confines welcomes another young buck from the Cubs farm system.