The Seattle Mariners have been doing something interesting for most of the second half of 2021. They had three receivers in their lineup. Almost all teams only have 2 receivers, and the third receiver is certainly an interesting player. That player is Luis Torrens. He’s someone fans want to see succeed in the future, and his development as a hitter and defenseman could be a big part of the Mariners’ season next year.
We did a Twitter poll to see who the fans wanted to see “get it” for the Mariners, and Luis Torrens came in second.
For fans, it’s interesting to ask why they want Torrens to be successful. He’s a receiver, and it’s always nice to have a good receiver, especially one who knows how to touch. He was very polarizing especially at the start of the season last year because of his struggling defense.
After Torrens was recalled from the Tacoma Rainiers on June 14, he came back a much better hitter. He had touched below 0.178 / 0.219 / .300, but after his comeback he touched 0.266 / 0.326 / 0.477 the rest of the year. He did so primarily as a designated hitter with a few scrambles at first base.
The numbers above prove that Torrens was a very good hitter for the Mariners in the second half of the season. He’s been a big part of the Mariners’ success, especially having some big homers, two very impressive big triples as Torrens is not known for his speed and a lot of emotion. He also won in August with a home run.
Also at the end of the year, he hit a huge home run against the Oakland A’s and he showed a lot of emotion afterwards. It is this emotion that helps resonate with fans. Nothing better than a player who hits a home run and celebrates it.
Fans were drawn to Torrens last season after his return as he has become a reliable player they can count on. His numbers showed that he was not only good Mariners, but really good. The 4th best DH in baseball over more than half of the season is a very valuable contributor, which fans love.
Now, how is it still improving?
The next step for Luis Torrens is to take a new step in his development. There are a few things he needs to do to become an even better sailor. The first is that he must produce for a full season. He has to hit like he did in the second half like he has been doing all year. That’s what is needed for him to be the full-time designated hitter in 2022. If he can be a 120 wRC + all year round, then he’ll likely play around 140 games in DH. The Mariners should leave the DH spot for him to grow.
Torrens will need to add a bit more versatility on top of being a good hitter to stay long term for the Mariners. If he can only be a designated hitter, he will need to display Nelson Cruz type numbers to allow him to win all of the team’s DH time. Torrens must develop further as a catcher to become a long-term option for sailors.
While he was a receiver in 2021, the Mariners couldn’t count on him defensively. Bad defense and bad offense are a horrible combination, and that’s why they got it when Torrens was catching. Improving to become a middle defender and keep hitting like he did after the call would give him and the team a lot of versatility at the receiver and DH level.
Mariners fans and Mariners makers want to see Luis Torrens succeed. He is an emotional player who had a very good year last year after returning from the AAA. If he can continue to grow, he could be a very good long-term part of a receiving tandem as many teams use in the league as well as an above average designated hitter. He offers an exciting and talented option for Mariners going forward.