It’s July 27th, and the Mariners are in the midst of a series with the division rival Houston Astros. Out of the dugout walks young Astros infielder Abraham Toro… wearing a Mariners uniform. He had been traded to the Mariners, mid-series, and it kicked off a firestorm of turmoil, disbelief, and mistrust for fans and players alike.
Cooler heads would prevail as the trade started to be viewed from more of a business standpoint as opposed to an emotional standpoint. Even more so once you realized the team has also acquired Joe Smith in the deal, as well as Diego Castillo in another deal. Not only was Joe Smith pretty good (one of the most underrated relievers in history), but the bullpen was actually better now, as was the major league roster from a hitting and depth standpoint.
Abraham Toro instantly made an impact for the team, hitting a pinch-hit home run that night, becoming the first player in major league history to hit a home run against a team and then be traded to said team and hit a home run against his old team in back-to-back games.
Abraham Toro could be an amazing piece for the Mariners, and he had a good season for a 24-year-old
I think that’s what people are sort of forgetting. Fans easily fall into the trap of expecting too much, too soon, from those too young and inexperienced. Not everyone is Vlad Jr. Toro came to the Mariners, just 24, and was thrown into a new position on defense, having played just one game there in the majors. He also had a total of 308 PAs under his belt. All of that needs to be taken into consideration when grading Toro for his 2021 season.
Like I’ve done in most of these, we need to break apart his season a little bit. You can look at the final stat line, but that doesn’t always give you all the information that you need to know, especially when the sample size isn’t a full season.
- Toro on Mariners: 253 PA, 60 G, .252/.328/.367, 11 2B, 5 HR, 28 R, 26 RBI
- July 27th – August 31st: 137 PA, 32 G (31 GS), .311/.387/.459, 6 2B, 4 HR, 15 R, 16 RBI
- September 1st – End of season: 116 PA, 28 G/GS, .183/.259/.260, 5 2B, 1 HR, 13 R, 10 RBI
You can definitely see a change once it got to the last month of the season. If he’s that first hitter, well, that’s easily all-star material and someone you want at the top of your lineup. If it’s the second guy… you can send him to the minors and leave him there for a while.
I do think he is somewhere around the player that he ended up with, stat-wise. Extrapolate it out to a full season, and you’re going to get someone who can hit home runs in the low teens, hit 25 2Bs, play solid defense, and have a decent average. He was a 0.0 dWAR this year, and that was his first time playing second base. The feeling is he will either continue to improve under the tutelage of Perry Hill or be a bit better if they move him to his natural third base position.
So, how did he do this year? I was really impressed with Toro. He was well on his way to an A on the season… then September rolled around. When it comes down to it, I’m still going to give him a pretty good grade. Abraham Toro earns a B+ from me on the season, in large part due to his success at a new position, hot “first half”, and mid-season impact to the Mariners. Really looking forward to what he brings to the table next year.