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Yankees prospect Torres named AFL MVP

Marlins infielder Nola honored with Stenson Sportsmanship Award
November 19, 2016

Gleyber Torres' most eventful pro season so far concluded with a high honor.

The Yankees' No. 2 prospect received the Joe Black MVP Award in the Arizona Fall League before the Championship Game on Saturday. Torres, who played in 18 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions, was twice named the circuit's Player of the Week, was a Rising Stars Game selectee and led the loop in batting average (.403) by a margin of 50 points. At 19, he's the youngest player in the AFL this year and the youngest MVP in league history.

The shortstop also got aboard in over half of his plate appearances, leading the league with a .513 on-base percentage. He was second (to Reds prospect Zach Vincej) with a .645 slugging percentage, having tallied extra bases on eight of his 25 hits. He walked 14 times compared to eight strikeouts, all the while moving over to second base on defense for seven games.

"He's got a chance to be a really special player, and I think his maturity, the way he goes about his business, he plays the game a lot older than 19 years old," Class A Advanced Tampa manager Pat Osborn told in August.

Torres, the No. 17 overall prospect, started the year with in the Cubs system but was the key component in the late-July deal that scored Chicago elite closer Aroldis Chapman from New York. Over 94 games with Cubs-affiliated Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans, he batted .275/.359/.433 with 35 extra-base hits. His numbers took a deep over 31 games in the Florida State League following the trade, but he still finished the regular season with a .270/.354/.421 slash line.

Previous winners of the AFL MVP Award are White Sox outfielder Adam Engel (2015), Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (2014) and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (2013).

Marlins infield and catching prospect Austin Nola, who batted .273/.429/.318 over eight games for the East Division-champion Mesa Solar Sox, won the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. That honor is named after a former Red Sox prospect who was killed in Arizona while playing in the AFL in 2003, and it's bestowed upon the player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership during the autumn circuit.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.