The Keepers: – RP – Jhonathan Torres

100. Jhonathan Torres – SP –21/yrs. old

The Mets Latin America division seems to punch out three or four interesting starters very year that we always have to keep an eye on. Most don’t make it, even the ones like Nelson Portillo, who dominated at this level, but the team has had some luck lately developing kids like Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Famila. Jhonathan Torres is one of the special kids from last year’s graduating class.

 
Torres was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, and started the 2008 season with the VSL Mets. He pitched great, going 5-2, 3.39, 1.19 in 13 starts. In 63.2 IP, he allowed 30R, 24 ER, 63 H, 13 BB and had 42 K. He also allowed two ERs or less in nine of his 13 starts there. He won both the Sterling Award as the top Met player for the 2008 VSL team, and a visa to come stateside in 2009.

 
In 2009, the Mets sent Torres to the GCL team, where he was basically unhittable (4-0, 0.82) in four games, three starts. He also was part of a three-pitcher no-hiiter against the GCL Nationals. Then, the Mets did what they do very often; send young pitches to the next level too soon. I never understand why this always seems to happen. If the kid pitched the entire year in, let’s say, Venezuela, then why not leave him at his first stateside assignment for the first year and let him get acclimated to the climate, language, Mets system, etc.?

 
No, Torres was bumped to Kingsport where he struggled, giving up 14 earned runs in his first five appearances there (23.0IP).

 
His combined 2009 stats were: 6-4, 3.45, in 13 games, 12 starts, 55-K in 62.2-IP.

 
1-1-10 Forecast: Torres will pitch next year as a 20-year old, so there is no rush. He’s also a lefty, so there’s no reason to rush him. My hopes are he is either sent to Brooklyn for the entire season, or left in Kingsport to mature.
 

 

2010: Torres was held back in Kingsport for another season, this time as a relief pitchers. In 15-games (only 2-starts) he went 1-1, 5.29, striking out 47 in only 34.0-IP.

 
2011 Forecast: On the surface, his 2010 stats sucked, but you have to love 47-K/34.0-IP… and, he was only 20-years old. I’ve got him going to Brooklyn, but there’s an outside chance, depending upon how he does in ST, he could start the season in Savannah.

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