When the Philadelphia Phillies initial 26-man roster was announced heading into the 2021 regular season, a good number of people were confused at the inclusion of one Ronald Torreyes (myself included). A player who showed next to nothing during his debut season with the Phillies back in 2020, fans of the team felt this was simply Joe Girardi having a “soft spot” for a player who he used to manage in New York.
Fast forward 88 games, and Torreyes has firmly established himself as a reliable bench piece, if not a perfect bench piece when taking into account the Phillies needs and weaknesses.
Currently batting .276, Ronald Torreyes has blossomed into an above average bench piece for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Before even mentioning what Torreyes has been able to do at the plate, his above average defense this season has been extremely appreciated. He’s one of the few infielders on the Philadelphia Phillies roster who’s not been a complete liability, and his versatility has come in handy on more than one occasion. He filled in admirably at shortstop for a good number of games when Didi Gregorius was on the IL, and has taken reps at second base, third base, and even a bit in the outfield.
Considering just how bad the Phillies defense has been this season, having at least one versatile defender off the bench has been a welcome sight. As the 2021 season continues, my guess is we’ll be seeing Torreyes frequently used as a late-game substitution during close affairs. As much as Gregorius and Alec Bohm have begun to heat up at the plate over the past few weeks, Torreyes offers far more from a defensive standpoint than both players.
On the offensive side of the ball, Torreyes has provided a somewhat mind boggling amount of production. He’s currently batting .276 with a .710 OPS, and has already driven in 20 RBIs. If he continues along this current pace, he should expect to cruise past his career-high number of 36 RBIs in a single season.
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Torreyes has also managed to slug a total of three home runs, which is already tied for the most he’s hit in a season. Many viewed Torreyes as a liability at the plate heading into the season, instead, he’s been one of the team’s more reliable hitters. His higher-than-average RBI total in such a limited number of plate appearances paints the picture of someone who’s capitalized on their opportunities.
Overall “depth” has long been an issue for the Phillies, both in the field and amongst the pitching staff, but thus far Torreyes appears to have the makings of someone who can be relied upon coming off the bench. He’s an above average defender who can play multiple positions, and he’s been able to provide some juice from an offensive point of view – the perfect guy to have on your reserves.
Most importantly, Torreyes comes from a winning background. While the veteran infielder never managed to secure a World Series ring during his time with the Yankees, he was apart of multiple different postseason rosters. Having that type of experience and leadership in the club house should always be viewed as an extra positive when evaluating a team’s role-players.