Gleyber Torres, 2022 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

It’s a rare occurrence when a Yankees player is a sleeper. I can count the instances on one finger, the same finger I use to point at my mustache, my mustache-pointing finger. In 1984, Don Mattingly was coming off a 4-homer, .283 season, and everyone admired his mustache, but thought his bat was too weak to stick at 1st base. “He’s no Cecil Cooper,” they’d say. “I do love Mattingly’s mustache though,” they’d continue, “Do you think he’d sell pictures from his nose down to his top lip only? I’d really like to buy a picture of that to put on the ceiling of my bedroom.” That’s what they’d say. Then Mattingly broke out in 1984 and the world thought, “This guy is more than just a glorious mustache. How can one man be so lucky? A glorious mustache, a great hitter and a great wife.” A sleeper for the ages from the New York fawkin’ Yankees, or the Fawkees, as they say. Almost 40 years later, Don Mattingly is mustache-less and the Fawkees still didn’t have another sleeper. Dot dot dot. Tension builds. Until now. Last year, Gleyber Torres went 9/14/.259 and, mah gawd, this better get good fast, because that’s awful. I think I fell asleep under a giant poster of Mattingly’s mustache one too many times and my brain is mush. Well, I’m this far in, let’s just salvage this thing. So, what can we expect from Gleyber Torres for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Gleyber Torres from August 1st to the end of the year: .305/.350/.445 .339 wOBA 116wRC+. In August, Gleyber hit .393, and, in September, he hit 3 homers and .280. In the 2nd half, he went .289 with six homers. Six homers per half isn’t gonna cut the cheese, wash the laundry, or mustard the hot dog. It’s twice as much as he did in the 1st half though! You don’t hit nine homers on the year in the The Stadium They Built Across The Street From the House Ruth Built without really struggling. Have you seen that park? A pop-up to right is a home run. With a 7.8% Barrel rate, which is kinda sucky, it’s no wonder he had a 14.2 Launch Angle and only nine homers. Could Gleyber Torres be the biggest beneficiary of 2019 juiced balls since Alex Bregman? Yeah, p to the erhaps. The factories were sewing them baseballs extra tight and Gleyber was like, “Give them to the Orioles so I can hit ’em.”

In the 2nd half, Gleyber Torres had a 11.1% HR/FB with a 38% fly ball rate. I won’t try to convince you 11.1% HR/FB is good, but convincing makes an ass out of ‘con’ and Vince–Wait, huh? My most favorable read on Gleyber’s power is 38% fly ball rate and 15% HR/FB, which is about the same as Austin Hays, who hit 22 homers last year in 131 games. So, 24 homers for Gleyber in 145 games. That takes us back to his rookie year of 24/6/.271 way back in 2018. At 25 years of age, that seems well within the conservative estimates of a bounce back. For what it’s Cronenworth, Steamer has him down for 23 homers in 150 games. 

My read on the lineup is the Fawkees are moving Gleyber Torres to 2nd base, Gio Urshela to 3rd, and hoping to get a shortstop in free agency. Hello, Trevor Story; step right up. Not so sure on Carlos Correa, because that feels like a cataclysmic clubhouse event, but the Fawkees’ fans can scream cusses at the Pope, so Correa might not be a bridge too far. What does this mean for DJ LeMahieu? Honestly, I don’t care, but he’ll likely float around the field. A floating DJ sounds like a Vegas pool party. Finally, a DJ FTW! That’s a “deejay for the Wynn.”

If Gleyber Torres can continue his 2nd half gains on barrels and just making good contact, he could be a 25/.290 hitter with fantastic counting stats, as the entire Fawks’ offense bounces back. That’s not asking a lot from a guy with a 38/.278 season under his belt at 25 years of age. This might just be the last Fawkees sleeper for another 40 years, when a Roomba in the shape of Mattingly’s mustache wins the 1st base job, causing ethical issues because the Roomba’s father is also a well-respected robot ump. For 2022, I’ll give Gleyber Torres projections of  83/25/87/.283/11 in 542 ABs with a chance for more.

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