Andres Torres, whose wife Suwannee Torres is profiled below, recently signed a one year extension with the World Series champs. Torres toiled in the minors for many years before becoming an impact player and the Giants’ leadoff hitter in 2010. An appendectomy on September 12 kept the speedy outfielder out of the lineup for two weeks, but he came back to perform well in post season.
Torres, a switch hitter, strikes out more than you’d ideally like for a leadoff guy (25%), but he has excellent wheels (26 steals), legit power (16 HR) and a solid eye at the plate. At 33, he seems to be hitting his stride at a much older age than most MLB players. Torres beat out Aaron Rowand for the starting center field job last year as Rowand suffered through a disappointing .230/11/34/5 season. Torres will likely be flanked by Ross in right field this season and Mark DeRosa or Pat Burrell in left. Rowand, who had only 13 plate appearances in post-season, will be unlikely to get as many AB’s (331) as he had last year.
Here’s a look at Torres swing from the left side with a leg kick and the ability to drive the ball the other way. Torres uses quick chop steps out of the box to quickly get down the line.
2011 Fantasy Baseball Projection: Andres Torres
The nice thing about Torres is that he can help you in both the power and stolen bases categories. So long as he can keep his batting average at .260+, he’s going to keep his job in San Francisco after toiling many years in the minors. Look for a .265 average, 15 homers, and 55 RBI from the leadoff man.