Prospect Profile: Ronald Torreyes

This is a continuation of the weekly series of of writing about a Cubs prospect profile. Early on, I will be writing about guys that Dave and I did not cover in our Prospect Ratings. Links for past ratings and past profiles at at the end. Additional links can be found at the end of the article.

Who is Ronald Torreyes?

ronald-torreyesTorreyes was signed out of Libertado de Berinas, Venezuela, by the Cincinnati Reds as a teenager. At 17 he came to the United States and made was naturally sent to the Reds rookie league. Born September 2, 1990, Torreyes is still young for his current level (Daytona), but has been loved by a number of prospect experts. He is only 5-9, 140 so these people have not thought he was capable of becoming a superstar, but they've really liked the way he's played at such a young age.

In 2010 at various rookie leagues, Torreyes played about an equal number of games at SS and 2B, but has since settled in at 2B permanently.

The Cubs acquired Torreyes prior to the start of the 2011 season for Sean Marshall. Along with Marshall, the Cubs also grabbed Travis Wood and Dave Sappelt.

Where is he?

He played the entire season in 2012 at High A, Daytona and has was promoted to AA Tennessee this season. He is the youngest qualified position player (15 AB or more) in the Southern League. Among all qualified Southern League players, only Taijuan Walker (Mariners) is younger. Unfortunately, Torreyes doesn't have nearly the potential that Walker has. Walkers threw 126 innings at AA last year and doesn't figure to be in the minor leagues too long.

Is he any good?

Torreyes began the season on the disabled list and returned just over a week ago. He has 30 PA at AA already and has played as well as possible. He's hit .350/.500/.400. It's only 30 PA, but a good start is better than a bad one. He has also taken 5 walks and has yet to strike out.

He got off to a horrible start last year, but came on strong in the second half and finished the year with a .264/.326/.385 batting line. The Florida State League is a pitcher's league so that was still good for a 102 wRC+.

In over 1200 career plate appearances, Torreyes has hit .324/.384/.463. He's also been very young for each level, which makes those numbers even more impressive.

Awhile ago I wrote about the median minor league age for each level and came up with my own appropriate age for those levels. According to that, Torreyes would be the Cubs prospect who is currently youngest for his level.

While prospect evaluators have been quite pleased with his performance so far, most see him as having a difficult time cracking the starting lineup on a regular basis. He's quite small and doesn't have much power, doesn't get on base a ton and doesn't have great speed.

The Cubs have a number of middle infield candidates that are ranked higher than he is.

OV Prospect Rating

Torreyes doesn't have tremendous potential, but when you consider his age and success at each level while being among the youngest players, he is a prospect. He gets on base enough and plays a valuable position, which mean that his floor is relatively high when you also factor in him being in AA.

Rating: 5.5 C. This gives him a ceiling of someone who could become a starter, which I think we have to consider. It also gives him a floor of someone who doesn't become the typical quad-A player. This makes sense since he hasn't even gotten to AAA yet.

This gives him 45 points in our rankings, which puts him above Nick Struck, Josh Vitters and Juan Paniagua among the now 24 players we've done. It's tied with Jeimer Candelario, Marco Hernandez, Dave Sappelt, Matt Szczur, Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn

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