I want to get out ahead of it and say I think Gleyber Torres is a very good player. I think he’ll be a good player for a long time too. Sometimes though, there are underlining numbers that we should look at before proclaiming a player to be a superstar and an excellent investment.
I present to you the case of Gleyber Torres versus the Orioles, and Gleyber Torres versus everyone else.
Clearly, he is dominating the Orioles with unworldly numbers, but against everyone else, his stats aren’t even close to head-turning.
If you’re asking why I’m so concerned with his stats against the Orioles as opposed to any other random team, here are the Orioles team pitching stats and how they rank out of the 30 MLB teams.
*For context, Marcel Ozuna’s OPS is .854. The Orioles have given up an OPS of .856. They essentially are always playing against Marcell Ozuna, on average. That’s unbelievably bad, considering Marcel Ozuna is not an average MLB player.
You can see from the images above, Torres is having a great season. You can also see that if you take out his stats against the Orioles, a horrible pitching team, he is having a terrible season. Obviously, it’s not as easy as that. You can’t fault Torres for getting to play against the Orioles. That would be like accusing Giannis of only being good at basketball because he’s tall and strong or saying Aaron Judge only hits home runs because he’s huge. Finding fault in a player for circumstances out of their control that they take advantage of is unfair. Good players take advantage of circumstances in their favor, and that’s what Torres has done.
What I do think is fair, is questioning whether you want to invest in a player who’s stats are inflated, due to playing a large portion of games against a historically terrible team. Torres has played 12 games against the Orioles this year. This means he has only has 7 out of his 106 remaining games against the Orioles. He’ll need to start performing well against other teams that aren’t historically weak, or we’ll see his market crater. There aren’t enough games against the Orioles to prop up his season numbers long-term like they’ve been propped up in the short-term.
There are many questions that pop into my head when I look at these numbers. Do I discredit him because most of his good stats are against a terrible team? Do I not care because his full season’s stats look good and who cares how he got them? Do I want to invest in him now, assuming there will be a turnaround against other competition? Do I not want to invest in him because his numbers may crater when not getting to face the Orioles 12 times every 56 games? These are all questions that there are no easy answers to, which is why early 2019 Torres is such an enigma. Great stats against a bad team and iffy stats against everyone else create a tough investing situation for everyone. You’ll have to decide what you’re comfortable with, and how much you believe in him when deciding what to do with his cards.