Torres lives up to hype in 1st spring start

Yankees' top prospect notches 2 doubles, scores twice on wild pitches

Torres lives up to hype in 1st spring start

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees have raved about Gleyber Torres' excellent game clock, which permits him to make wise decisions between the white lines. The touted prospect provided a glimpse of that on Saturday, scoring from second base on a wild pitch in New York's 6-5 Grapefruit League loss to the Phillies.

Ranked as No. 3 prospect in baseball by MLBPipeline.com, Torres sprinted immediately from his secondary lead after the Phils' Mark Appel uncorked a pitch that skipped from catcher Cameron Rupp. Miguel Andujar scored standing up, and Torres never broke stride behind him, sliding home safely with the Yanks' third run of the afternoon.

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Andujar and Torres race home

"I was ready for anything," Torres said through an interpreter. "It was a low pitch. It bounced away, and I was ready to run, and I did."

The daring dash highlighted an afternoon in which Torres banged two doubles, one to left field and one to right, and scored another run on a wild pitch. Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes that the 20-year-old may just be scratching the surface of his sky-high potential.

"He's a bright kid who knows how to play the game," Girardi said. "You can look at his at-bats: double down the left-field line, double down the right-field line, using the whole field. He played a very good shortstop today. His IQ is really good."

The prize of last summer's Aroldis Chapman trade with the Cubs, Torres earned an invitation to big league Spring Training after being crowned as the youngest-ever Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League, leading the circuit in batting average (.403) and on-base percentage (.513) while hitting three home runs.

"He's a guy that makes things look easy on the field that aren't easy to do," said Gary Denbo, the Yankees' vice president of player development. "He's advanced beyond his years in his offensive approach. He's an excellent defender. He's got an excellent game clock. He does a lot of things that we try to develop."

Torres is a major part of the palpable prospect buzz in camp, according to Yankees pitcher Adam Warren, who said that he spent an extra inning in the dugout on Saturday after completing his allotted time on the mound. Warren just wanted to see what all the fuss has been about.

"You kind of stick around a little bit longer and say, 'Let me see what these guys have got,'" Warren said. "It's a lot more enjoyable just to see the talent out there and how they compete. It is Spring Training, but to come on a bigger stage and act like they're just playing in the backyard, it's pretty neat how mature they are."

The Yankees envision Torres beginning the year at Double-A Trenton, and the youngster said that he is not paying attention to speculation that he could do enough to force a big league callup later in the year. He is focused on learning as much as possible and making the most of this opportunity.

"Sometimes things have been said about me, and it's nice to hear good things about me, but you've got to stay humble and keep working hard," Torres said. "That's the key, keep working hard and stay humble."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.