It’s been a minute since both New York baseball teams had an elite shortstop on their roster. But with Gleyber Torres now the full-time shortstop for the Yankees and the Mets trading for Francisco Lindor and signing him to a long-term deal, two of the best shortstops in the majors are in New York. Naturally, fans on both sides are gearing up for the endless shortstop comparisons and Torres vs Lindor debates that will ensue.
While both players have their best years still ahead, let’s look at who is the best shortstop in New York right now.
Torres vs Lindor: Contact
While Lindor has a slight edge over Torres because he’s a few years older and has spent more time in the Majors, there’s no doubt that Lindor is the better overall hitter.
Torres has never hit better than .278 during a season while Lindor is a career .285 hitter and hit over .300 in each of his first two seasons in the majors.
To be fair, both regressed a little in the shortened 2020 season, but Lindor managed to put together a more respectable season.
Torres vs Lindor: Power
This is an area where both shortstops have excelled during their careers. While Lindor needed a few years to find his home run stroke, Torres was a power threat right away, hitting 24 home runs during his rookie season.
For comparison, Lindor has 27 home runs over his first two seasons in the big leagues. While Torres followed that season with 38 home runs in 2018, Lindor put together three consecutive seasons with over 30 home runs.
Ultimately, this category is too close to call, as Lindor’s career slugging percentage is .486, which is only slightly better than Torres at .485.
Torres vs Lindor: Defensive prowess
After spending his rookie season at second base, Torres has had a rough transition to being a full-time shortstop in the big leagues. Some have even wondered if the Yankees would be better served to move him back to second base and find another shortstop.
Meanwhile, Lindor has been as steady as can be, making difficult plays look routine and limiting his mistakes on routine plays. While Torres has a career fielding percentage of .948, which includes his time at second base, Lindor has a .981 career fielding percentage, not to mention a pair of Gold Gloves.
Torres vs Lindor: Intangibles
Again, Lindor has an inherent advantage in this category because he’s older. However, the Mets are quickly learning that their new shortstop is a bundle of energy and a great team leader.
Torres is by no means a negative in this respect, but he’s yet to step into a leadership role for the Yankees. It’s also worth noting that starting with Lindor’s first full season in the Majors in 2016, he helped Cleveland win three straight division titles and reach the World Series in 2016.
Meanwhile, Torres was a part of just one team that won a division title in his first three seasons.
Torres vs Lindor: Verdict
It’s clear that Lindor is currently the best shortstop in New York.
He’s the more well-rounded player and a more accomplished player than Torres.
That’s not to say that Torres can’t reach that same level one day.
But at the moment, the honors belong to Lindor, and there should be no question about it, at least for now.