Gleyber Torres

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LISTEN: Gleyber Torres Says He's 'Super Excited' About All-Star Selection

Sweeny Murti Interviews Yankees Rookie Sensation

Sweeny Murti
July 11, 2018 - 11:13 am
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When the Yankees acquired 19-year-old Gleyber Torres from the Cubs in July 2016, I asked a coach who had seen Torres play in the Class A Florida State League that year what he thought of him.

“Kid is a stud," the coach texted me back. "He’ll be in the big leagues in two years.”

It was a reply that wowed me then, and now it’s an understatement. Because in less than two years, the now-21-year-old Torres has gone from stud prospect to the youngest Yankees All-Star since Willie Randolph (21) in 1976. Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio are the only other Yankees that age to make the All-Star team.

As Torres came through the minors, coaches and scouts would remark how he “walks around like a big leaguer.” It wasn’t meant in a derogatory fashion. It was meant as a compliment to how a player that young could carry himself with such confidence.

Torres played only 37 games at Triple A over the last two seasons and may only need to go back for a handful of at-bats as he rehabs the hip injury that landed him on the disabled list and will keep him from participating in the All-Star Game next week in Washington, D.C. He is here to stay.

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In his first 63 major league games, Torres has crushed 15 home runs. He has made big plays and has become a key cog in the Yankees machine that is rolling to 100-plus wins and who knows what else.

The most impressive thing about Torres? That at 21, the native Venezuelan does his interviews almost entirely in English and does them with a comfort level that many American-born players with years more of big-league experience never reach.

When I sat down with him in Baltimore this week, Torres -- still working through his hip injury and hopeful to be back right after the All-Star break -- turned to interpreter Marlon Abreu only a few times for clarifications before motoring through our conversation in English, as you will hear.

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We spoke of his All-Star season, his surprising burst of power, his trying moments -- including getting traded and getting injured -- and more.

Torres is looking forward to a big second half, and it’s exciting to think about what his ceiling is. Even the people who knew how good he could be two years back didn’t see this coming.