Before Sunday's game, hitting coach Phil Plantier talked to Gleyber Torres about being more prepared and relaxed. Facing a familiar foe, the Yankees' top prospect did just that.
Torres collected four hits and two RBIs as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre edged Syracuse, 5-4, at PNC Field.
Gameday box score
"He had a plan when he went up to hit, he executed it really well," RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. "He does a good job of knowing the pitchers that he's faced in the past and has a good memory. That's kind of rare at the young age that he is, but he does a lot of that. He knew this guy well, starter Erick Fedde."
Over the past two seasons, Torres went 6-for-11 with two RBIs, three walks and two runs scored against the Nationals' No. 4 prospect, getting better each year. With Fedde making his season debut, Torres singled to center field in the first inning, then reached on a slow roller to shortstop Bengie Gonzalez in the third.
"He cut down on his strikeouts, put the ball in play, and that's the kind of stuff that happens when you do that. You get those kind of hits," Mitchell said.
Video: Torres collects fourth hit for RailRiders
MLB.com's No. 5 overall prospect added a single to right and stole a base in seventh. An inning later, Torres came up with the bases load and two outs. The 21-year-old slapped a two-run single to center to cap a four-run outburst that proved key as Syracuse answered with three runs in the ninth.
After going 1-for-9 with a two-run jack in his first two games of the season, Torres recored his eighth career game with at least four hits and first since 2016. The Venezuela native was limited to 55 games between Double-A Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm. Mitchell, who managed Trenton last year, said Torres seems like he is back to 100 percent since the procedure. While Yankee fans were hoping to see the infielder in New York to start the season, the skipper said it's not quite time.
"He just needs to, baseball-wise, play; he just needs to play. He's going to be playing second base and shortstop, so he needs to get used to both positions," Mitchell said. "But, obviously, he's a big leaguer-in-the-making and as soon as they feel he's ready, I'm sure he will be and be ready to go to help the big league club win. And he can obviously do that and have an impact on the game, just like he did [on Sunday]."
David Hale spun six two-hit frames for the RailRiders, striking out one and walking one. Yankees No. 17 prospect Cody Carroll (1-0) got the win, despite allowing three runs on two hits and a walk with a punchout in 1 1/3 innings. J.P. Feyereisen secured the final out for the save.
Fedde worked around four hits and a walk with two strikeouts over five scoreless innings for the Chiefs.