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The Situation: If it seems like we’re always discussing the benefits of the Cubs’ never-ending stream of offensive depth, it’s because it always seems to come in handy when injuries strike. This time, it’s Starlin Castro, who pulled up lame trying to scratch out an infield hit and will miss at least 3-4 weeks with a strained hamstring. This presented the Cubs with two options: slide Addison Russell over and call up Ian Happ—downgrading at two defensive positions in the process—or give the organization’s best shortstop, Gleyber Torres, the big stage. Most teams would kill for just one of those options, but for now, Happ is going to have to wait.

Background: The Cubs gave Torres $1.7 million in 2013—the days before the international draft was put into place—out of Venezuela, and though they’ve taken it relatively slow with the 20-year-old infielder, their patience appears to have paid off. He hit .322 at Low-A South Bend, but took another step forward in 2016; posting an .880 OPS at stops in Myrtle Beach and Tennessee. That improvement saw him rank second on the Cubs top-ten prospect list, and No. 19 overall on the BP 101 prior to the start of this year.

Scouting Report: Torres’ best assets are his hands—some of the best in baseball—and they make him a high-level shortstop prospect both with the bat and in the field.

At the plate, Torres possesses a smooth, level swing and his ability to pick up spin and get extension allows him to hit the ball hard to every part of the field. He’s an assertive hitter who will swing at the first pitch, but he’s also seen an improvement in patience over the last two years, and will draw his fair share of bases-on-balls.

While his frame and swing path aren’t conducive to putting up big power totals, Torres’ power numbers have improved each season, as he continues to gradually add some good weight, which allows him to tap into his increasing power. That said, he’s more of a gap-to-gap hitter, and that along with his above-average speed make him a threat to hit 30 to 40 doubles a year, with 12-to-15 homers also possible in his peak years.

There have never been big questions about Torres’ defensive ability, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be a shortstop in the short or long-term. The arm is easily plus, and though he doesn’t have elite speed, there’s more than enough athleticism to allow him to make plays to his left and right with soft hands. If he isn’t a 60 defender at shortstop, he’s pretty close.

Immediate Big League Future: The Cubs have been very fortunate to have hitters like Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell perform well early at the big league level, but they’ve also seen some struggle early, like Javier Baez and Billy McKinney. If I was to guess which group Torres was going to belong to, I’d guess the former. The offensive upside isn’t as high as those names listed, but the floor is similar, and there’s reason to believe he’ll be a competent starter at shortstop, and a quality replacement for the injured Castro. —Christopher Crawford

Fantasy Impact: The Cubs are like a clown car of fantasy goodness—of course, unless you’re into pitching. Thankfully, Torres isn’t a pitcher. And while he’s only likely to be up for a little less than a month, his game translates well to immediately production, as long as you’re not expecting him to recreate what you were getting out of Castro.

Torres’ high-contact approach is going to give him a fighting chance to be a positive contributor in batting average right off the bat, and when he does get on base, those big bats hitting ahead of him are pretty good at bringing runners back to the dugout for celebrations. On the bases, he’s not the fastest of runners, but his speed plays up due to great instincts. He’s unlikely to be much of a contributor in the power categories. He’s likely to be hitting down in the nine-spot, which will limit his RBI opportunities, even in a lineup as deep as the Cubs have, and while he could flash 15-homer potential down the road, he’s not there yet.

In his prime, Torres could be a potential. 300 hitter with the ability to hit for enough power to reach double digits and steal close to 30 bases. With the power (and average, to an extent) being a work in progress, expectations for 2017 should be somewhat similar on a per-game basis as the Phillies have gotten out of their own rookie at the keystone, Scott Kingery. If he were to somehow stick for the remainder of the season, we could be looking at a .270 hitter with 3-5 homers, 30-35 runs and 12-15 steals. Even with offense up this year, that’s still someone who would be missed if he returned to the minors in August.

Since we’ve already seen most of the prospects we thought we were going to see debut in 2017, Torres should be worth investing in across the board. In NL-only leagues, the specter of every day at bats at least in the medium-term should make a $15-18 bid perfectly reasonable; and you may have to go $20+ to roster him. In mixed redraft leagues, Torres should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues and deeper, and should likely go right into the starting lineup if you have a MI slot. For the DFS crowd, Torres will debut today with a $3,200 price—and considering the tasty matchup against Travis Wood, he could be a bargain option for his debut even if he is hitting out of the nine-spot.

In dynasty leagues, you’re mostly out of luck unless you either have a time machine or a league full of people who hate prospects. If either applies, he should be picked up now. In keepers, it’s a tough call on whether to use the top waiver priority here. There’s very little chance that we'll Brendan Rodgers in the second half, as he still hasn't been in Double-A for long, so there's not a ton of worry that you'll miss out on the clear top fantasy prospect left in the minors. Assuming he doesn’t, both Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ could be a nice consolation prizes. For anyone outside the top priority spot, go for it. —Bret Sayre

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mblthd
7/08
Castro got traded to the Mets back in July 2015. But yeah, Torres will do just fine, especially since he has 2016 NL MVP and team leader Arismendy Alcantara there to guide him.
marshaja
7/08
I think you mean Arismedy Alcantara, not Billy McKinney. While it seems they call up a top prospect every few months, he's been solidly rooted in the minors all year.
nickgieschen
7/08
I was wondering which would be the first comment to miss it's future day at BP.
nickgieschen
7/08
And why will I be awake so early on Jul 8, 2017? At least I'm still alive, I guess.
davinhbrown
7/08
Matrix or Back to the Future?

Or is it some Terminator thing where John Conner comes back to make sure the Cubs win the World Series and Gleybar is the only man who can do it!
toddzilla9
7/08
I thought Russell was thought of as a better fielding SS than Castro. Was I mistaken or has something changed?
bretsayre
7/08
I mean, Russell won the gold glove at second base in 2016. Do you really want to have a huge downgrade there just to have a slight upgrade at SS?
morro089
7/08
But Castro's contract, while still a steal, isn't nearly as amazing as it has been in the past now that the tv contract bubble appears to have popped and he only has 2 years left on his contract. Why haven't we flipped him, moved Russell over, put Baez at 2nd so we can stop playing Bryant in the OF. Bryant has value anywhere, but we've all seen Bryant's terrible RFR in left. Plus, look at the Orioles, they finally moved Machado back to SS (obviously it was out of necessity for them, but still) and he's held up fine which has kept his value high. Plus, added bonus, doing all this finally allows Alcantara to fully embrace his utility potential everyone talked about when Maddon joined and we can get rid of this 4 inning pitcher crap which CLEARLY isn't working for the Cubs despite being the little starting pitching depth and mountain of injuries. Thank God Tommy John (or whatever they're calling it now) only has a 6 month recovery so we'll get Arrieta back by the playoffs so he can earn that contract.
kellsworth
7/08
Stick to the facts please
fawcettb
7/08
Yeah, really. Answer the question. Why didn't they shift Russell across and bring up Alcantara?
mattgouras
7/08
"There’s very little chance that we'll Brendan Rodgers in the second half, as he still hasn't been in Double-A for long, so there's not a ton of worry that you'll miss out on the clear top fantasy prospect left in the minors."
Brendan Rodgers is in double AA? Seems to me they may have buried the lede in this story.
Sgerard64
7/08
The article here says he's 21 and just moved up to AA, but milb says hes 18 and still in A ball, what's up here?
bretsayre
7/08
Fixed! He doesn't turn 21 until later this year.
Muboshgu
7/08
Color me surprised to get an email alert from BP saying my 18 year old A ball dynasty prospect was called up. Because the Twins did this with Jorge Polanco, I didn't immediately realize this was a hoax. I don't get the point of this. 2017 will happen soon enough, why rush it?
j1vrieze
7/08
Not as bad as me running to the waiver wire to find a replacement for Castro.
Muboshgu
7/08
I hope you didn't make a move you can't take back.
j1vrieze
7/08
Thank god for FAAB.
ProBeauNO
7/08
why
hyprvypr
7/08
It's an interesting article, but like so many, I was left bewildered, both at why on earth they would rush him so bad and then clueless looking at my fantasy team trying to find how Torres would fit.
okteds
7/08
Is it April fools day at the BP office?
flyingdutchman
7/08
Ridiculous.
buckoneil
7/09
Would appreciate it in the future if there was a disclaimer at the top of this type of article. For those of us who play in fantasy leagues with fast finger rules, sometimes an article like this sends us scrambling.

And while you can defend it by saying that this would be such a ridiculous promotion that it's obviously not true, the same could have been said for other recent call-ups with similarly limited profiles and young ages, i.e. Jose Fernandez.
Schere
7/09
I am also the proud owner of Gleyber Torres in my keeper league. I can only laugh and blame myself, though.
jackiniowa
7/11
this whole article is just strange....
qwik3457bb
7/11
If this is a joke, it's not funny.

And jeez, I sure hope it's a joke.