Coming off an MVP campaign in the elite proving ground that is the Arizona Fall League, Gleyber Torres is in line for a promotion.
The Yankees plan on assigning their second-ranked prospect to Double-A Trenton to start the 2017 season.
"He's never played above the Florida State [League]," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Post. "Next year, he'll start at Trenton and get introduced to the cold weather of the Eastern League in April for the first time. He'll be ready whenever he's ready. I'm not currently thinking about his timeline. Once he has extensive success at Double-A level, you can start doing that. He hasn't taken that step yet."
Torres, who turns 20 on Dec. 13, received the Joe Black MVP Award after leading the AFL with a .403 batting average. It was part of a .403/.513/.645 slash line that went with three homers, 11 RBIs, four stolen bases and 15 runs scored in 18 games.
"He had a tremendous Fall League, being the MVP and best player in that league," Cashman told the newspaper. "When I was out there for the GM meetings, I went to see him play, and the buzz among all the baseball people, the scouts and front-office execs alike, was, 'This is the best player in the league.' And he was the youngest player in the league, so that's pretty exciting to hear."
Torres also split time between shortstop and second base, with Cashman praising his versatility.
"His bat is his calling card. Defensively, he could play probably all three positions: second, third and short. He's not played third, but he can play second and short," the general manager said. "What really differentiates him from others is the hittability."
Cashman and the Yankees made Torres one of the key pieces of their rebuilding plan when they acquired him from the Cubs in July along with outfield prospects Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford and Major League right-hander Adam Warren for hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman. Playing in two Class A Advanced leagues this season, the Venezuela native batted .270 with 11 homers, 66 RBIs, 21 steals and 81 runs scored in 125 games.
Torres ended the season as MLB.com's No. 17 overall prospect. He put together a breakout season in 2015 with Class A South Bend, where he was named Midwest League Prospect of the Year after hitting .293 with three homers, 64 RBIs and 22 steals in 119 games.
Receiving a reported $1.7 million bonus, Torres signed with the Cubs in July 2013 as an international free agent. He split the 2014 season between the Rookie-level Arizona League Cubs and Class A Short Season Boise and batted .297/.386/.440 with 10 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs and 33 runs scored in 43 games.
Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com.