Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #33: OF, Jhon Torres
Acquired from the Cleveland Indians for Oscar Mercado
WHY TO GET EXCITED
While many scouts and fans alike have been clamouring for updates on low-level players like Jonathan Machado, Victor Garcia, and Terry Fuller, none of those three are where Torres is. Both Garcia and Fuller have the raw power but it hasn't shown itself in-game yet and Machado is, well, Machado. He's all bat-to-ball and speed and very little else. Torres is raw but you can see his potential stardom brighter than any other outfield prospect at the two lowest levels of the stateside-minors.
He has a very quick swing and it's super powerful.
He's one of those players that tends to make the bat sound special when the ball hits it.
He uses his entire body while swing. Not just his hands or his arms or his hips, he uses all of that and his legs in sync to drive the ball.
Torres is quick, especially for a player that's been measured out at 6'4".
He's a solid, but unspectacular corner outfielder for the level. His quickness really helps him out there.
Personally, I'm excited because there were a lot of Cardinals fans that hated the trade that brought Torres and Conner Capel to the Cardinals for Oscar Mercado. Mercado looked like a very good fourth outfielder that would probably have helped the Cardinals right after he was traded had he not been moved. But Torres can be more than that. Wayyyyyy more than that.
Between Torres, the three names I mentioned above, and Malcom Nunez (who is 17-years-old and eating the DSL alive but was kept off of this list because he isn't stateside and for that reason only) the Cardinals have a very high-ceiling crop of big time offensive contributors years away from the majors. Add in Ivan Herrera (who would be prospect #36 on the list) and the Cardinals system has the chance to be in the top 25% in baseball in two to three years.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
As always, he's 18-years-old and far far away from the majors. Time and patience and development is still needed in buckets-full.
His HUGE leg kick is a concern. Honestly, I love that he's employing it at the GCL level and it's a big reason for his success in the power-department, but he'll need to calm it down as he progresses up the ladder and faces more advanced offspeed offerings.
He's a "hacker" and he won't be cheated out of any swing, ever. Again, this lends itself to concerns about his abilities against better breaking pitches as he advances. Right now, he's getting away with it.
I was careful too specify that Torres is solid in the outfield "for his level." What I mean by that is, he isn't a very good outfielder but he's fine for an 18-year-old in the GCL. All reports indicate that, right now, he gets terrible jumps and his quickness saves him. He will probably never be mistaken for a center fielder and he's played a corner for the entire season, but his reads need work.
His swing can get long sometimes. Nothing out of the ordinary for an advanced and teen-aged power bat, but it's something that does happen
I WILL GIVE YOU NO COMPARISON
Torres is at the lowest level of the minors that you can be at and still be playing in the United States. He's big and strong and powerful, and I'm sure that he has the chance to be fast-tracked. Just know that if I wasn't such a coward and if I wasn't always preaching patience and full development with prospects then he'd probably be ranked between 20-25 on the list.
Thanks to Fangraphs for the stats and the video!!!!
Thanks For Reading!! Kyle Reis