Former SF Giants OF Andrés Torres attempting comeback for WBC

Former SF Giants OF Andrés Torres attempting comeback for WBC

Former SF Giants outfielder Andrés Torres has his sights set on returning to professional baseball. That’s right, the 44-year-old Torres announced his intentions on NBC Sports Bay Area during their Giants postgame show after the team’s 6-1 win on Wednesday. Torres revealed that he will return to the field in winter ball this offseason and has his sights set on representing Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Torres understands the odds are stacked against him. However, he wants to give it a shot. “I was at home and I’m like, you know what, I feel great,” Torres said. “And one of those days I was like, you know what, I’m going to do it. I’m training and getting ready. I’m very excited.”

Torres has made some adjustments since he last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2013. Understanding the tall task ahead of him, Torres has dropped switch-hitting and will only be hitting right-handed. Switch-hitters typically are better from the left side of the plate, but Torres is a natural righty and actually had a notably better triple-slash (.265/.340/.397 vs. .231/.306/.374) and strikeout rate (17.1% vs. 24.5%) as a right-handed hitter over his MLB career.

SF Giants outfielder Andres Torres gets a hit against the Diamondbacks (2013).

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The Tigers drafted Torres in the fourth round of the 1998 MLB draft out of Miami Dade Community College and would go on to be selected to represent the organization in the 2002 Futures Game. He played sparingly in big-league stints from 2002-2005 but was unable to solidify a long-term role.

Torres floundered in the upper minor leagues over the next few years before joining the Giants organization on a minor-league deal in 2009. Already 31, Torres unlocked his potential and quickly played his way into a big role on the Giants bench. In 170 plate appearances across 75 games, he hit .270/.343/.533.

Then, in 2010, Torres became San Francisco’s starting center fielder. In 139 games, Torres racked up 43 doubles, eight triples, 16 homers, and 23 stolen bases with a .268/.343/.479 triple-slash. The Giants went on to win their first World Series in more than 50 years, and Torres was one of the team’s most valuable players.

Torres’ performance dipped in 2011, and the Giants packaged him in a deal with the Mets for Ángel Pagán. Torres had another mediocre season in New York before returning to the Giants as a fourth outfielder in 2013. While he never appeared in another big-league game, Torres played in the Red Sox organization and the Puerto Rican Winter League in 2014.

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