Andres Torres, career minor league journeyman reborn in 2010, has been a major part of the Giants offense — and defense — this season. One of the reasons that Torres has been so valuable to the G’s this year has been his plate approach. Torres has an excellent BB% of 13.9% at the moment — league average tends to be around 8% — to go along with a hearty .389 on-base percentage. Delicious, delicious OBP.
All of that on-based goodness stems from Torres’ approach at the dish — he rarely swings at pitches outside of the strike zone. You’ll often hear announcers state that a certain player has a good idea of the strike zone, Torres fits that phrase almost perfectly.
This week’s graph shows Torres swings vs. non-swings on pitches outside of the standard PFX strike zone.
I posted similar graphs back in last September for Fred Lewis and Pablo Sandoval. But, as you can see, Torres isn’t very likely to swing outside of the zone. They say that players tend to walk more as they age to compensate for the loss of skills, but Torres has seemingly developed both power and an eye at the dish as he’s aged. One has to wonder how much time the 32-year-old Torres has left? Even if you think that his hitting ability could slip — or revert back to his late days in AAA — his defense should keep him valuable. And until the wheels come off, I’ll be enjoying Torres’ turn-around as a player. It’s probably one of the more remarkable transformations that I’ve seen in baseball.