Amarillo Sod Squad shortstop Jose Torres is one of the many exciting young players to watch in the Texas Collegiate Baseball League. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Soorts]
Editors note: This is a weekly insight to give fans a better perspective into the Amarillo Sod Squad and Sod Dogs.
Out of the many players to watch on both Amarillo Texas Collegiate League teams, fans definitely want to keep an eye out on Sod Squad shortstop Jose Torres.
Torres immediately showed the Hodgetown fans his potential when he earned the teams first hit driving a first pitch fastball to right field for a single in the bottom of the second inning.
Torres finished his opening night with the Sod Squad 1-for-5 at the dish, but missed a home run by 5-feet and was robbed of another single on a great play by San Antonio shortstop Grant Smith.
The 20-year old oozes potential not only at the plate but with his glove at short.
Torres is coming off an incredible abbreviated
freshman season at North Carolina State.
He started all 17 games at shortstop for the Wolfpack, the most starts among all freshmen in the 2020 season. Torres hit .333 with 20 hits and 13 runs batted in, including three doubles and three home runs. His average was the fourth-highest on the team.
“I credit coaching,” Torres said. “It was intense. Coach (Elliott) Avent’s practices are high-pace, and always at a high level. We took a ton of rep’s in practice, and then during a game those practices paid off. It was all about those practices.”
Shortstop Jose Torres makes a backhanded stop during a game for North Carolina State back in March. [Photo by N.C. State athletics]
For his amazing effort Torres was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. It marks the first recognition in his career, and sixth consecutive year the Wolfpack has placed at least one freshman on an All-America team.
“Being named to the Freshman All-American Team means everything to me,” said Torres, who’s N.C. State team was 14-3 when the season was cancelled. “It shows all the hard work from the summer, and fall into the spring paid off. It’s a grind, so getting that recognition meant everything to me.”
Coming out of Calvert Hall College High School in his hometown of Baltimore, Md. Torres was the a highly touted Major League Baseball prospect being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 24th round of the 2019 Draft.
Torres decided to forgo the draft and head to N.C. State, a decision that definitely paid off.
After doing nothing but hitting at home since March, Torres is just excited about getting this opportunity with the TLC this summer.
“When I was flying Into Amarillo and saw all the open fields I was shocked where I was at,” Torres said. “But once I got to the stadium and saw the facility I knew this was going to be awesome, and a great place I could get better playing at.”
Now being a part of the Sod Squad for next month, manager Brett Wellman loves having the exuberant shortstop on his team.
Wellman says Torres is the type of player that fans need to see in this short summer league.
“He’s a great ball player,” Wellman said. “More importantly he’s a thrill to be around. He’s a special talent, and a guy that will play at the next level. He has a great glove with a solid approach at the plate. He can go opposite field, and he’s a very smart hitter.”