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Torreyes overcoming size to be utility star

Versatile 24-year-old has impressed Yankees
MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- He's easily the smallest player on the Yankees' roster, but his manager knows Ronald Torreyes' contributions are quite large.

"He gets the most out of his weight," said skipper Joe Girardi. "Pound for pound, he gets the most out of his ability. He's incredible."

TAMPA, Fla. -- He's easily the smallest player on the Yankees' roster, but his manager knows Ronald Torreyes' contributions are quite large.

"He gets the most out of his weight," said skipper Joe Girardi. "Pound for pound, he gets the most out of his ability. He's incredible."

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Torreyes is listed at 5-foot-7 and 151 pounds. He's not the shortest player in the Major Leagues -- that would be the Astros' 5-foot-5 Jose Altuve -- but he's close.

Size has never mattered for this Yankee, though. Growing up in Venezuela, he always had good role models, including his idol and fellow countryman, the diminutive Omar Vizquel. But Torreyes' biggest mentor was his father, whose support never wavered.

"Ever since I was young, the source of motivation was my dad and still is," said Torreyes. "At a young age, he taught me to work on what I wanted to work on and believed in my potential. Since I was a kid, that's what I learned and believed. That's really where the motivation comes from, just believing in myself and what I can do."

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His father's words have taken Torreyes quite far, from Venezuela to New York, where after being claimed off waivers last February, he has been the Yankees' version of a Swiss army knife, playing four different positions.

In his first full season in the Majors with the Yankees, Torreyes' versatility was on full display; he played 34 games at third base, 15 at shortstop, 14 at second base and two in right field.

"He's a guy who really understands how to be that extra infielder, extra outfielder, whatever he needs to be," said Girardi. "His at-bats don't come on a regular basis, but he's always prepared. That's what's so great about [Torreyes]: He's always prepared to play no matter where you need him, and that's what you expect."

The Yankees utilityman has proved that he can consistently put the ball in play, striking out just 21 times in 177 plate appearances in his career. But he expects to display more offense this season.

"He has the uncanny ability to get the barrel of the bat to the ball all the time," said Girardi.

"I feel great here. What I'm trying to do is focus on the little things, focus on getting the job done every day," said Torreyes. "Try to come here and be ready to play."

Doing the small things have paid off big for a Yankee whose stature has hardly been a shortcoming.

Mike Nabors is a contributor to MLB.com.

New York Yankees, Ronald Torreyes