The Cubs have signed Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres, the No. 2 international prospect for July 2. Here is our complete scouting report on Torres from before July 2. Baseball America subscribers can access more scouting reports on the top 30 international prospects, along with reports on more of the top international prospects on the market.
2. Gleyber Torres, ss, Venezuela
Born: Dec. 13, 1996. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185. B-T: R-R.
Every year trainer Ciro Barrios has some of the most expensive players in Venezuela. His best prospect yet, Barreto, signed with the Blue Jays last year for $1.45 million, and Torres is the top Venezuelan prospect this year, though he isn't as advanced as Barreto.
Torres is a savvy player with present skills and the potential for five average or better tools. He has a clean, compact stroke, hits in games and shows good power projection, although he mostly works the gaps right now. He has good bat speed and hand-eye coordination to put the ball in play, although he can be a bit of a front-foot hitter and tends to pull off the ball at times.
Some scouts believe Torres is a true shortstop, while others think he's not athletic enough. He could end up being a guy who splits time between shortstop, third base and second base, with a skill set that draws comparisons to Freddy Sanchez. He has good hands and a strong arm, but he doesn't have the classic wiry shortstop frame and is already fairly filled out. Back in November, Torres showed above-average speed, but more recently he's been running closer to average.
Some scouts wonder if Torres has just been coasting because he knows it's unlikely anyone has the budget to pay him more than the Cubs, the team he's most associated with. He's expected to be the top-paid player in Venezuela, and some scouts prefer him to Jimenez. The two may end up being teammates soon.