Is this young talent the reason for the Yankees’ Torres extension hesitation?

Jorbit Vivas celebrates after hitting a homer during Yankees 22-10 win over the Tigers at Tampa spring training facility.
Sara Molnick
Sunday February 25, 2024

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The New York Yankees will field a roster primarily comprised of young players for their Grapefruit League opener against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday in Lakeland. Several established stars, including Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres, were not part of the squad in the exhibition game.

One notable exception among the Yankees regulars was shortstop Anthony Volpe, who is slated to lead in the batting. He was joined by hyped second base prospect Jorbit Vivas, who batted eighth in the lineup.

Jorbit Vivas, a potential future double-play partner for Volpe, could find himself competing for a Yankees starting role in the coming seasons. This possibility arises due to the anticipated free agency departure of Gleyber Torres next winter and the potential lack of an immediate long-term replacement acquired through trade or signing. This scenario could create an opportunity for Jorbit Vivas, alongside Oswald Peraza, to vie for the starting Yankees second base position in the future.

Yankees rising prospect Jorbit Vivas showcases batting skills

Jorbit Vivas celebrates after hitting a homer during Yankees 22-10 win over the Tigers at Tampa spring training facility.
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Jorbit Vivas, acquired by the New York Yankees in a trade with the Dodgers in December, has quickly established himself as a promising prospect within the organization. Following the trade, MLB Pipeline ranked him as the Yankees’ 10th-best prospect, a significant jump from his previous ranking of 15th with the Dodgers.

Jorbit Vivas is known for his exceptional left-handed batting skills, which he consistently displayed throughout the previous season at both Double-A and Triple-A levels. This talent was evident during Friday’s live batting practice session, where he faced two of the Yankees’ rising pitching prospects: right-hander Trystan Vrieling, drafted in the third round of 2022, and left-hander Kyle Carr, selected in the third round of the 2023 draft.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone remarked that Jorbit Vivas demonstrates proficiency in hitting fastballs and expressed satisfaction with his performance during live batting practice. Boone added that it was his initial exposure to him in such a setting.

Jorbit Vivas is making waves in spring training. The 21-year-old, who will celebrate his birthday in March, arrived alongside veteran reliever Victor Gonzalez in exchange for shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney.

The player, known for his left-handed bat, impressed during his time in the Dodgers’ minor league system. He performed consistently at both Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2023, showcasing his offensive skills. While details about his specific spring training performances are not included, Jorbit Vivas is expected to receive significant playing time to further demonstrate his abilities.

Despite his potential, Jorbit Vivas is likely to begin the season at Triple-A, similar to his placement at the end of 2023. Last season, he split his time between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. At Double-A, he displayed a solid batting average of .280 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs across 109 games. When promoted to Triple-A in August, he adjusted to the higher level, recording a .226 average with one home run and nine RBIs in 26 games.

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His performance and development throughout spring training will be closely monitored by the Yankees organization as they determine his role within the team’s future plans.

Jorbit Vivas, a young Venezuelan infielder acquired by the New York Yankees, possesses a unique skill set that has drawn comparisons to established players. Here’s a breakdown of his strengths and weaknesses based on MLB Pipeline’s evaluation:

The strengths

Jorbit Vivas excels at making contact with the ball, consistently ranking among the minor leagues’ leaders in strikeout rate. This ability, combined with his quick hands and compact swing, allows him to connect with pitches across the strike zone.

His discerning eye at the plate helps him draw walks and get hit by pitches, contributing to a high on-base percentage. While not a power hitter, Jorbit Vivas has the potential to hit 10-15 home runs annually. He demonstrates adequate range and reliability as a second baseman, providing stability in the position.

Weaknesses

Jorbit Vivas’ modest speed and arm strength limit his impact on the bases and defensively. While he has experience at third base, his arm strength makes him a better fit at second base. MLB Pipeline compares his hitting approach to fellow Venezuelan infielder Luis Arraez, who has won two batting titles in the past three seasons. Both players share a similar ability to make consistent contact and utilize a compact swing to generate line drives.

Jorbit Vivas is a promising young prospect with a strong foundation in hitting. His ability to make consistent contact and get on base makes him a valuable offensive asset. However, his limited speed and arm strength restrict his defensive versatility. The Yankees will likely monitor his development closely to determine his future role within the organization.

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