Gleyber Torres hits 100th HR, claims WBC stint helped him find his form

Gleyber Torres is celebrating after his home run and with Anthony Rizzo at Yankees Stadium, April 3, 2023.
Michael Bennington
Tuesday April 4, 2023

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The Yankees’ 8-1 win against the Phillies turned more memorable on Monday with Gleyber Torres hitting his 100th home run in the third inning. The Yankees infielder, who was struggling before the season to regain his position on the team, reached five bases apart from smashing his second home run of the season.

The home run traveled 361 feet flying over the right-field wall.

Gleyber Torres turns candid

Gleyber Torres, however, admits that he hit home runs a little faster at the beginning of his career. But as he gets back his power that made him a top hitter early on and the Yankees lineup continue to smash homers, fans are happy to cheer at the surge.

“It feels great; amazing,” Torres said. “It’s really special, especially to do it here in Yankee Stadium. It’s great to hit that kind of home run here.”

Gleyber Torres has simplified his approach, which was clear in Monday’s 8-1 Yankees win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He had two hits, drove in two runs, and walked three times in five plate appearances.

Gleyber Torres is hitting a home run at Yankee Stadium.
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Gleyber Torres thinks that going to the World Baseball Classic with Venezuela last month and getting “playoff” at-bats helped him cut down on swings and misses early in the season.

“Those games are kind of like playoff games, because it’s nothing about hitting many homers — just be on base for the other guys,” said Torres, who tied a single-season career-high 129 strikeouts in 140 regular-season games last season but has just one strikeout through 12 at-bats amid a hot start by the Yankees (3-1). “We faced really, really good pitchers there. That helped me a little bit to get on the process and also the 10 games I played during spring training … just try to be in control and be patient, everything, when I go to home plate.”

Gleyber Torres also worked three free passes as he improved his batting average to .333 and on-base percentage to .529 during the four-game sample period.

“Really good,” said Aaron Boone. “Tonight, to throw a perfect night up there with the homer the other way and three walks, another base hit — just really focused, quality at-bats by Gleyber and been right in the middle of a lot of things for us, but it’s excited to see him playing the way he is.”

He becomes 7th youngest

Gleyber Torres was a two-time All-Star in 2018-19 before his output dropped the next three years, cutting .256/.325/.406 with 36 home runs and 143 RBI in 309 regular-season games — would agree.

Gleyber Torres in Pinstripes.

After hitting 24 home runs last season, Gleyber Torres reached the century milestone in his 580th career game. At 26 years 111 days, he is the seventh-fastest in the Bronx to hit 100 homers after Gary Sanchez Aaron Judge, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Joe Gordon, and Mickey Mantle.

“In 2020 and ’21, I slowed down a little bit, but I hope to get more than a hundred homers and have a really good career,” Torres said.

Gleyber Torres returns

“He’s capable of that,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I think his approach has been excellent. I think his at-bat quality has been excellent, punctuated by tonight where he’s on [base] every time and going the other way. He’s got that kind of power.”

Gleyber Torres hit an infield single that scored a run in the first inning. He then hit a home run in the third inning and walked in his last three at-bats of the night.

“I feel good,” Torres said. “I’m trying to be a little bit more patient. Sometimes I’m too aggressive and I start to roll over or strike out a lot. I know strikeouts are part of the game, but this year I’m trying not to strike out a lot. I’m trying to put the ball in play a little bit more.”

Gleyber Torres went back to the Yankees after watching Venezuela win all four games in Pool D of the WBC and then lose to the US in the quarterfinals. Torres and Miguel Cabrera took turns as the designated hitter, and in three starts, he was 1-for-10.

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