Gleyber Torres sported a different look, but his swing looked no different.
Wearing a unique style of sunglasses for just the second time, Torres put on his latest power display at Yankee Stadium and hit a pair of solo home runs in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Indians, making him the youngest player ever with seven multi-homer games in a season.
Torres, who has a team-high 29 home runs, could soon become just the second middle infielder in the past 100 years to lead the Yankees in home runs, following Robinson Cano (2013). With another multi-homer game this year, the 22-year-old would tie Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez for the single-season franchise mark.
“We saw his power last year. We’ve watched him these last two years. He’s got the ability to hit the ball out to all fields,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s obviously very strong. The ground force that he creates in his swing lends itself to power. He’s got one of those pulls and it seems to go a little further than you think it’s gonna go and that’s because the power is real.”
Last month, when Torres joined Joe DiMaggio and Mantle as the only Yankees to make multiple All-Star teams before turning 23, the native of Venezuela was in the midst of a stretch (June 26-July 31) in which he homered just once. Since then, he has homered nine times in 11 August home games.
Torres’ first homer on Saturday followed a Didi Gregorius solo shot. The fourth-inning blast to right center by Torres off Zach Plesac put the Yankees up 4-2. Torres’ sixth-inning bomb to left off Nick Wittgren gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead.
“He’s a great player. Big spot, really hunting a pitch there, and obviously destroyed it,” Boone said. “He’s playing well. The flexibility he’s given us this year of being able to bounce between second and short as well, I’m really proud of the all-around, complete player he’s grown into.”
After the game, Torres said he would consider wearing the glasses again, regardless of the forecast.
“It’s nothing special,” Torres said of the glasses. “I feel comfortable with that. … I like it.”
Torres became the second-youngest ever (after Mel Ott) with nine career multi-homer games and will likely join DiMaggio as the only Yankees age 22 or younger to hit 30 or more home runs in a season.
“I’m not really surprised,” Torres said. “I prepared really well in the offseason. I learned a lot from last season. It’s about confidence right now, going to home plate and take really good at-bats, and take a pitch I can hit.”
Torres has struck out just once in his past 30 plate appearances, and is batting .284, so he still refuses to consider himself a power hitter.
“I hope to hit 40 homers [at some point], for sure, but I’m still a contact hitter,” Torres said.
Would 50 change his mind?
“Man,” Torres said with a laugh. “We’ll see. We’ll see.”