After a good 2021 season at NC State, Jose Torres was selected in the third round by the Cincinnati Reds in the draft. After signing he would spend three days in Arizona before being promoted up to Single-A Daytona where he crushed the ball for the final month of the season.
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The Reds sent Jose Torres to High-A Dayton when the season began. After going 2-4 with a double in the first game, the shortstop went into a slump, going 3-24 over the next week. But on April 20th he busted out of the slump, going 4-4 with two home runs. Over the next month he kept it going, hitting .313 and slugging .716 thanks to 12 extra-base hits in 18 games while striking out just 10 times.
For as hot as Jose Torres was in that span, he was just as cold over the next two months. From May 22nd through July 27th he hit just .181/.245/.235 and managed just three doubles and two home runs in those 46 games. Things picked up for the four weeks after that for the then 22-year-old. Over the next 20 games he hit .346 and slugged .539, but he walked just twice in that span while striking out 18 times.
Things went back in the other direction for the final three weeks of the year. Torres hit just .127/.250/.259 with 27 strikeouts in the final 15 games of the season. His walk rate did improve in that stretch, drawing six walks in 64 plate appearances.
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Jose Torres Scouting Report
Position: SS | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 174 lbs | Acquired: 3rd Round, 2021 Draft
Born: September 28, 1999
Hitting | He has a below-average hit tool.
Power | He has average power, but slight above-average raw power.
Speed | He shows average speed.
Defense | Torres has above-average defense.
Arm | He has an above-average arm.
In the last two years the power development for Jose Torres has been noticeable. He’s gone from a player who was viewed as a player who couldn’t hit the ball hard enough to a guy who has the potential for 15-20 home runs.
While the power has certainly developed, the approach and pitch recognition still remain a bit raw. That’s resulted in some feast or famine stretches. When he’s on, he’s really on. But he’ll also go through stretches where he’s struggling to make solid contact for weeks at a time. That’s also led to his low walk rate (6.4% in 2022) and a high strikeout rate (26.4% in 2022). If he’s going to get the most out of his tools at the plate he’s going to have to improve his pitch recognition, which should also help out both his walk and strikeout rates.
Defensively the 2022 season saw Torres splitting time at shortstop with Elly De La Cruz, and sliding over to second base when he wasn’t at short. That was a move simply for playing time, not a reflection of an inability to handle the position. Torres is a good defender with good hands and a strong arm.
There’s upside for Jose Torres to be an every day shortstop in the big leagues who shows good power, defense, and quality baserunning who gets on base enough to hit at the bottom of a lineup. But his bat is going to need to continue to develop to reach that point. The defense gives him a higher floor, perhaps as a utility player but even with that he’ll need to be able to hit at least a little bit.
Jose Torres Spray Chart
Interesting Stat on Jose Torres
He crushed the ball against younger pitchers, hitting .333/.389/.559 against them in 126 plate appearances. Older pitchers were a different story as he managed to hit just .196/.245/.308 against them in 311 plate appearances.
I like Jose Torres. I could see him being the replacement for Alejo Lopez when he’s out of options and can’t shuttle back and forth between Louisville. If his hit tool comes around, he could be a solid replacement player.
Torres was one of the guys I was excited to see in the box scores. He’s kinda got lost in the sea of SS’s. He may have benefited from starting in Daytona, instead of Dayton last year. Either way he should find himself back in Dayton, where he’ll be splitting time with Arroyo this year. Always the bridesmaid for this guy.
I’d guess Torres is your starter at 2B in AA. Arroyo, Faltine, and Callihan will be in the Dayton middle infield. The talented group coming up from rookie ball is going to push everyone up or they’ll get left behind
If you are talking defense at AA Torres is better than Marte by a lot. He is up there with McLain as well. Surprisingly Torres looked much better at short than he did at second.
They could go that route, but I don’t think that wouldn’t be in his best interest for development. Either way he’s sitting behind a SS with a much higher prospect rating.
MK – I’m guessing at least to start the season the De La Cruz is back in Chattanooga. Infield of 1B Northcut, 2B Torres, SS De La Cruz, 3B Marte. Quintana moves to DH
MBS – I get your point but I just don’t see any alway around having to move him up to start the year
System middle infields
Acosta, Jorge, Balcazar, Ascanio, Minier
Arroyo, Faltine, Callihan
De Le Cruz, Torres
McLain, Johnson, Lopez, Hernandez, Martin, Reynolds
India, Barrero, Newman
I would not be surprised at all if EDLC started at AAA. He may learn more with all those AAAA guys throwing breaking stuff at him
Marte will prolly not see much time at short. His girth leads me to believe he will need to move to third where his arm will play well. Torres has great ss instincts, he may or may not develop them at 2nd. Have to assume McClain will be at 2nd as well. The free agents you speak of above will probably all be traded and we will keep having conversations like this over and over.