Top Cubs prospect Torres 'turning a corner'

Pelicans shortstop batting .429 in May after collecting three more hits

Gleyber Torres has collected 20 total bases over 28 at-bats in the month of May. (Patrick Cavey/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | May 11, 2016 1:17 AM

Cubs fans can rest easy after a shaky start to the year by the system's top prospect.

Gleyber Torres put together his second straight three-hit game on Tuesday, going 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and a run scored to help Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach to a 5-2 win over visiting Winston-Salem.

"He's figuring it out because he's reached base his last seven consecutive [plate appearances]," Pelicans manager Buddy Bailey said. "When a kid is doing what he needs to do -- getting hits or walking -- five or six times in a row, that's good. Seven is kind of special. He's turning the corner."

The 19-year-old shortstop is 12-for-28 (.429) with four extra-base hits in seven games this month, raising his slash line for the season to .245/.339/.415. Torres struggled to a .179 average in April, a month in which he logged only two multi-hit games.

"He's been more patient at the plate. Earlier, he was trying do too much. He was swinging at pitches out of the zone, the way a lot of players get into trouble," Bailey said. "It isn't his swing or anything like that, it's basically what you swing at. But he's gotten comfortable and he's trying do less.

"His pitch selection has gotten better and, obviously, the results are better. Plus, he's a Venezuelan kid and the weather was cold in April and now it's getting a little warmer. A few things are coming together at the same time."

Batting second, the right-handed hitter reached against Dash starter and No. 20 White Sox prospect Brandon Brennan on a one-hopper in the hole stopped by shortstop Cleuluis Rondon. Two innings later, Torres poked a grounder through the left side against Brennan and stole second.

Facing another right-hander, Manny Martinez, Torres worked a five-pitch walk in the fourth.

"That's why his numbers are getting better and average up because he's taking walks, which in turn lets everybody know he's getting selective in the pitches he's swinging at," Bailey said.

Torres, MLB.com's No. 25 overall prospect, led off the seventh by lining a 2-0 offering from righty Danny Dopico into left field for a double.

His glove and arm are among his best tools, and Torres has committed five errors in 26 games at short for a .956 fielding percentage.

"He's still [learning] in every area," Bailey said. "The stretch he's had is going good, but let's face it, guys are in A-ball because they need education in lots of areas. He's an aggressive baserunner and that's a good thing, but there have been some times when some of those decisions haven't been correct. There have been some errors along the way, but the kid's 19 years old and he's playing [Advanced] A-ball."

Ian Happ, ranked two spots behind Torres in the Cubs system, singled twice, drove in one run and scored another for the Pelicans. He's hitting .288/.397/.477.

Jonathan Martinez (3-1) picked up the win after holding the Dash to one run on seven hits and a walk with one strikeout over six innings. Jose Rosario recorded the final out for his third save.

Brennan (0-2) took the loss in his second start for Winston-Salem after allowing three runs on seven hits while fanning two in 2 2/3 frames. He was ejected by first base umpire Chris Marco for arguing the call on Daniel Lockhart's infield hit.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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