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  • E.J. Fagan

Gleyber Torres Has a YouTube Channel

by EJ Fagan

February 2024

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NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.


Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

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It seems like there’s a new baseball YouTube channel every week. I was pleasantly surprised when Gleyber Torres popped onto my recommendations.


There are five Torres videos on his channel right now. They are all slickly produced and edited. Torres himself rarely talks to the camera, which is usually filming Torres at his offseason training facility in Tampa from a low angle. Torres owns the facility with his buddy Gio Urshela, which they are also making into a small side business to help other players train.


The first four episodes are pretty banal. Torres and Urshela are doing offseason workout stuff and a little hitting. Torres seems like a smart, chill dude. He’s not hyping anything for the camera. But he’s also just an athlete going through a pretty standard routine.


Episode five gets much more interesting. Torres is hitting more as Spring Training nears. Aaron Judge, Oswaldo Cabrera and new Yankee hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Casey Dykes all dropped by.



Judge is in more Captain mode than workout mode, nodding and listening to Torres talk. My guess is that Torres asked Judge to come by both to show him his new facility and maybe help boost the new channel. Judge and Torres talk a little bit about bats and swings. Judge raises a jokey eyebrow when Gleyber mentions that players from other teams often drop by, but Torres responds that it’s a mix of minor leaguers, high schoolers and soccer players.


Cabrera hits without talking much, looking a little lighter than last year. When Torres and Cabrera are both framed near each other, you notice how much more muscle Gleyber carries. Cabrera looks like the faster, more agile player that he is. Torres uses his muscle to hit for a lot more power, but it’s not surprising that he trades off for more running and defense.

James Rowson was probably the most interesting figure on camera. They talked a little bit about Gleyber’s goals for the upcoming season. Rowson gets into the weeds on toe-taps and leg kicks with both Torres and Judge. He looks like the comfortable, experienced major league coach that he is. Sykes throws to the hitters, but doesn’t say much.


There isn’t a ton of substance to the videos, but the vibe is interesting. You get a sense of who these players are. Whomever is filming Torres does a great job pretending not to be there. It feels like you’re a fly on the wall in his training facility. I’m excited to see more as Spring Training gets closer and more players drop by.


Is This Gleyber’s Last Year in New York?


Torres is a free agent after the 2024 season. He mentions in the video that’s he’s preparing earlier in the offseason than ever. He doesn’t mention free agency, but I’m sure it’s a concern. He’s looking great.


I think we’ve all written off the potential for the Yankees to resign Torres to a long term deal. A year ago, when the Yankees had a surplus of infielder and questions surrounded Anthony Volpe’s ability to remain at shortstop, Torres seemed destined for another team.


I’m not so sure now. The Yankees don’t have an obvious long-term replacement for Torres. Cabrera and Peraza may not hit. LeMahieu is getting a little old for second. Jorbit Vivas profiles as a pretty low ceiling option. If Torres leaves, the Yankees may need to go sign some other free agent to play second. Why not stick with your pretty good internal option who will be just 28 years old?


Torres quietly changed his hitting approach in 2023. After striking out a ton in 2022, he quietly turned into one of the best contact hitters in the game, with a 15% strikeout rate and excellent walk rates. He didn’t hit the ball as hard as he used to, but still managed 25 home runs.




He maintained his strong contact numbers throughout the season, even as pitchers adjusted and starting throwing him more strikes:




If Torres can repeat his 2023 hitting approach, he could be a rare modern high-average hitter. There aren’t a lot of .280 hitters who can take walks and hit 25 home runs today, let alone ones who play up the middle.


My concern about Torres isn’t hitting. It’s defense and general athleticism. Torres is looking pretty big. He’s slowed down to well below average for a second baseman. His defense hasn’t played up after moving from short to second. He’s playable at second base, but barely. I’m very skeptical Torres can stick at the position for much longer. Given how he’s got one of the weakest arms in the majors and is too slow for the outfield, he would have to move to first base or designated hitter, where is bat won’t play up nearly as much.


As with all free agents, the question is ultimately one of price. I’d love to have Torres back on a relatively high-AAV, short-term deal. Something like 4 years, $100 million. But as a 28 year-old, Torres could be in much higher demand if he has a strong 2024 season. I think that any team which gives him a six or seven year deal will regret it pretty quickly, but someone might be willing to stomach bad defense. I could imagine Torres excelling when he doesn’t have to hit toward Yankee Stadium’s left field.


Either way, I’m excited for Torres in 2024. He looks strong, confident and mature. I’d bet on a big year. And please, bring the cameras along.

5 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 09

Now that the Baltimore Orioles are most likely the Yankees toughest foe in the division, the need to keep Gleyber Torres is much greater. Gleyber, his entire career, has had an amazing knack for hitting Orioles pitching. He did so when the Orioles were a terrible last place team, and last year, with the Orioles as a very good first place team., he continued to do so. Gary Thorne is no longer the Orioles broadcaster, but I have not forgotten his frustration at the way Gleyber Torres continually destroyed Orioles pitching. He is needed now more than ever to continue to do so. The only really good prospect to replace Gleyber Torres as the Yankees second baseman is Roderick A…

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 08

Gleyber has been a very good 2B offensively. Too bad not only was horrific defensively at SS, but he forgot to take his bat with him. Remember, he did it .280 in those last 2021 games after he was moved off SS. But I always thought that if Torres ever moved to 3B, he had a better than 6040 chance of being signed to an extension. Still does. But staying a 2B, to me he has no shot at an extension.


Oh, and EJ, didn't you mention Glyber's YouTube channel on a podcast with Dr. S. a few weeks ago?

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fuster
Feb 08

too soon to make decisions about Gleyber


best to wait and see how Gleyber, Volpe, Arias (and others) are looking around July 4th


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jjw49
Feb 08

If Torres wants a long term deal (5+ yrs) then Yankees should pass. It's unusual that 2nd basemen age well in their 30's.

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Melfman1
Melfman1
Feb 08

Gleyber is a good kid and he’s been pretty solid at the plate for the last two seasons. I think his future with the team is contingent on where Soto lands. If Soto goes elsewhere, the team will have to at least consider re-signing him. There is not much in the way of power in free agency next year, besides Bregman (no thank you) and Alonso.


Losing both Soto and Torres, (plus the possible departures of Rizzo, & Verdugo) would be tough to offset. If Soto leaves, I could see them offering him a 5 or 6 year deal. But entering next season at age 28, he’d probably be looking for an even longer deal.

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