TAMPA — Gleyber Torres loves to hit.
"Honestly, my batting is my main weapon," Torres said through a translator before spring training in a video posted Wednesday on the Yankees' social media account.
"But my defense has improved over the years. I feel good batting. I have a lot of fun batting. I always have fun playing defense, but to be honest I prefer to hit."
The 20-year-old uber prospect — who became the odd man out of the Cubs' star-studded infield pool and helped them land Aroldis Chapman and that elusive World Series championship — is currently honing his craft at the team's minor-league complex as spring training gets underway, taking groundballs at shortstop and getting some batting practice in.
Yankees invite Gleyber Torres, top prospects to spring training
He will get his feet wet with the big club during the spring as a non-roster invitee before moving on to Double-A Trenton at the start of 2017, GM Brian Cashman has said.
After being the youngest player ever to be named MVP of the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .403, Torres shot up in the prospect rankings. ESPN's Keith Law recently ranked him the fourth-best prospect in baseball while MLB.com ranked him third.
"He can be the star that everybody talks about. He's that good," a National League scout told the Daily News. "He's an advanced hitter for his age and handles himself well.
"He's a good-sized kid who can hit for power and average. He makes consistent contact and doesn't swing and miss a lot — especially as a young hitter — on breaking balls and offspeed pitches. You can't teach that. There's really nothing he can't do."
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Expectations are extremely high, but Torres' makeup has drawn rave reviews.
"I think pregame has always been a big factor for me in game preparation," Torres said. "It is important to prepare yourself mentally and physically before each game. That has been the biggest key for me."
So what's next?
47 photos view gallery New York Daily News back pages of 2017
"I would like to get better at everything," Torres said. "But I think baserunning and speed are factors that would greatly help my development.
Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres continues to merit high praise
"I want to keep working and I want to give it my all. I want to continue to learn, as this game requires you to learn every day. I want to stay humble and give it my best every day. I want to keep working hard to one day go up and help the Yankees."
The Yankees have always been a star-powered team, but that hasn't been the case so much recently. Gary Sanchez certainly looks like a star, although he'll have to produce over a 162-game season this time around.
The organization and its fans hope Torres lives up to his billing and becomes a superstar himself.Send a Letter to the Editor