In the first of a new weekly series here at East Village Times, Patrick Brewer puts the spotlight on Padres outfield prospect Nick Torres.
With names like Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot at the top of Padres prospects lists, it is hard to overlook other outfield talents. One such talent is outfielder Nick Torres. Coming in at #29 on the Padres top prospect list according to MLB Pipeline, Torres falls behind the players mentioned above, as well as Rymer Liriano, Michael Gettys, Alex Dickerson, and even newly acquired Jabari Blash. Despite not getting as much attention as the other prospects, Torres has a lot of raw talent and had quite a breakout season in 2015.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Torres is still only 22 years old fresh off his first full professional season of baseball. In his first professional season the results were uninspiring for Torres. However, he had a strong 2015 season, earning All Star recognition in the low Class A Midwest League. At this point, given he has only reached Single A, Torres is probably still at least two to three years away from being able to complete at the big league level.
While his numbers in 2014 were pedestrian for all intents and purposes, 2015 was a great all around season for Torres. Torres split time between Rookie ball, A ball and High A ball in 2015, playing in 21, 77, and 52 games respectively. As seen above, Torres was most successful in A ball, slashing .326/.378/.462 with a wRC+ of 143 overall. Following his promotion to High A ball in the second half of the season, Torres struggled, only slashing .275/.316 /.408 with a wRC+ of only 96.
Despite his struggles after his promotion, Torres still has his strong performance from earlier in the season to build on. In only his first professional season, both Torres and the Padres organization will take those numbers. Drafted out of college for his power potential, that potential has not translated well to the professional level so far, as Torres only hit seven home runs in over 600 plate appearances in 2015. In the field, Torres profiles as a below average runner with nothing more than average defensive skills, most likely fitting best as a left fielder given his below average arm. It’s clear that Torres value as a bench option, or perhaps as a starter, lies mostly in his offensive performance.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 40
Based on his scouting grades above, which make use of the 20-80 scale, Torres rates at, or slightly below, average in all five position player measurements. With an overall score of 40, at this point Torres ranks as nothing more than a bench player. At current, given both his college and professional performance, Torres most likely profiles as either a fourth outfielder or platoon option. Obviously there is the potential for something greater than that, but right now that looks like Torres ceiling. However, at only 22 years old fresh off his first full professional season, Torres has plenty of room to grow as a player.