RedHawks utility man Ronnie Torreyes has been one of the hottest hitters in the Pacific Coast League the past month.
Heading into Saturday’s game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Torreyes had hit safely in 20 of his last 23 games, batting .381 the past month.
Only 21 (he turns 22 in September), Torreyes has compiled 34 multi-hit games this season, including a dozen games where he’s collected three or more hits.
The remarkable stat is Torreyes is riding a streak of 90 consecutive plate appearances without striking out. The Venezuela product is the second-hardest player to strike out in all the minor leagues, striking out only once every 20.9 plate appearances.
Capable of playing multiple positions, Torreyes has played second base in 68 games, but lately has been playing third base. He’s also played 11 games at shortstop and 15 in the outfield, including 10 games in center.
He’s on the brink of breaking a PCL record. Torreyes needs only one more sacrifice bunt to set the modern-day era record for sac bunts (20) set by Tucson’s Alex Cintron 13 years ago.
Torreyes isn’t one of the Astros’ top prospects but has compiled stats (.306, 61 runs, .355 on-base percentage, 11 stolen bases) that he hopes will help him evolve into the ideal major league utility man who can fill in wherever needed.
Since he doesn’t speak English, teammate Ruben Sosa served as an interpreter with Torreyes, who talked about his recent hot streak.
Q: Describe what it’s like to be in a zone. You’re not getting a hit every game, in several games you’re accumulating two or three or four hits.
A: (Sosa translation): I feel pretty good about that with the outcomes (of my at bats) since the All-Star break. I’m very happy that I can support the team and help us win games.
How much confidence have you gained because of your recent hot streak?
I feel pretty good because when it’s game time I know I can help my team win if I continue to play like I’ve been playing.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge to being mentally prepared to produce consistently over a month-long period?
I always make sure I put in extra time before games so I’m prepared for that game and the pitcher we’re facing that game. If you’re prepared it improves your chances of being able to help your team.
Q: You’re not one of the Astros’ highly touted prospects, but do you feel you’ve opened some eyes with the season you’ve had with the RedHawks at age 21?
It feels good to know that they have eyes on you and are watching your performance. But at the end of the day they’re the ones making the decisions. My job is to prepare well, play hard every day and leave it up to them because they know what is best for their team.”