The New York Yankees signed Saul Torres on July 2, 2016 as an international non-drafted free agent. Overall, there is a lot to like about the young backstop but there is plenty of work and maturing that needs to occur for him to reach his ceiling. The Yankees sure like what they have seen from Torres thus far and are currently working with the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native on his shortcomings. He will be better than Austin Romine defensively and have more pop at the plate if he reaches his ceiling. Torres has the tools, hands, and work ethic to be very good but has a lot to learn, especially on the mental side.
The young backstop made his professional debut for the Dominican Summer League Yankees (Rookie) affiliate, as he appeared in 19 games. As a rookie, Torres slashed .154/.203/.215 with five runs batted in over 65 at bats. Saul struck out 19 times and walked just twice.
After earning a promotion to the Pulaski Yankees (Rookie), Torres performed slightly better at the plate. He slashed .174/.230/.309 with six home runs, 23 RBI’s, and six doubles. The 6’2” prospect only walked 10 times and struck out in 69 times across 148 at-bats.
Torres returned to Pulaski for the 2018 season and struggled. He hit just .170/.220/.277 in 13 games for the Yankees hitting two doubles, a home run and had one RBI. He was re-assigned to the Gulf Coast League in August where he had just three hits in 41 at-bats for a slash line of .073/.116/.098 in 13 games.
When asked about Saul’s makeup, his manager Luis Dorante said that Torres is a devout Christian and that “cares and wants to do well. The work that he does every day, he wants to do it. He’s a kid that never says no. He always asks questions and shows intelligence”. So far he is playing the game the typical “Yankee Way”, showing tremendous hustle, work ethic, passion and respect for the game.
He will be a plus defender as he matures. He blocks balls very well due to his advanced reads and baseball instincts. He anticipates curveballs, change-ups, etc in the dirt. Definitely shows that he is “baseball smart” by getting good reads and having a feel for the game. Good hands but very stiff in pitch framing needs to receive the ball better to eliminate passed balls and frame the borderline strikes.
Torres is a player with a lot of potential but has yet to tap into it. He struggled in a return trip to the Appalachian League in 2018 and will likely return there again in 2019.