Cubs: Gleyber Torres is now drawing constant criticism from Yankees fans
Even when Torres was mashing for the Bronx Bombers, his glove has never rated out as above-average. For that matter, it hasn’t even been league average since his rookie season – and that problem has only seemed to get worse with time.
Here are his last four seasons (including both the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign and the 2021 season to-date) using Baseball Reference‘s dWAR:
- 2018: +0.9
- 2019: -0.6
- 2020: -0.7
- 2021: -0.1
Clearly, things aren’t getting better for Torres defensively. He’s moved between second and short just a bit, but with DJ LeMahieu signed long-term, he’s now the everyday shortstop. And to say his glove work has been shoddy is putting things mildly.
Last season, he made the fifth-most errors in the league and pretty much every defensive metric pegged him as a sub-par defender. The bigger concern for Yankees fans, though, is that it’s not the highlight reel-type plays that Torres is botching: it’s the routine ones you expect an everyday big league shortstop to make on a nightly basis.
Whatever the cause, his defensive woes have put him under the microscope of late. Simultaneously, he took a step backward with the bat last season, as well – although he still rated out as above-average using OPS+. Torres is off to a slow start in 2021, though, batting just .220/.333/.268 through his first 48 plate appearances.
Has the shine wore off the former Cubs top prospect? It’s sure beginning to feel that way. He’s still just 24 years old and has a lot of baseball left to play not just this year but in his career. But given the struggles of the last two years, Cubs fans can likely feel a little bit better about coming off Torres in the trade that ultimately netted them a World Series championship back in 2016.