Gleyber Torres’ Passion For Music Is Amplifying His Game

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TAMPA — To Gleyber Torres, it’s important to stick to a routine.

Batting practice and fielding drills at a certain time in the morning. Watching film before the game. Don’t forget about conditioning. Then, first pitch in the early evening.

It’s a schedule, each day during an arduous 162-game campaign, that doesn’t exactly cater to free time.

For just a few moments before each game, however, Torres is able to relax and recharge for what lies ahead by plugging in his headphones and listening to music. It’s his own safe haven, a place to get motivated for game time while resting during the calm before the storm.

“We play so much and we're always doing something,” Torres said in an interview with Inside the Pinstripes. “I’m always trying to find time to listen to music and just get out of the world. A half an hour, or an hour, listen to really good music and try to be focused after that.”

The 24-year-old spoke about how certain types of music evoke memories from his childhood, growing up in Caracas, Venezuela. Long before he started playing professional baseball, Latin music was a big part of Torres’ life. Now, he’s bringing those tunes to the clubhouse before he takes the field and to the stadium’s speakers in his walk-up songs.

“Right now I use Farruko [for my walk-up song],” Torres said. “But Bad Bunny, J Balvin, El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico. I enjoy every type of music … American music, too.”

That in mind, it’s no surprise that Torres’ latest venture off the field is a partnership with an audio brand. The Yankees’ shortstop is the newest global brand ambassador for JBL, amplifying his game off the field using the company’s latest high-end audio equipment.

“The moment when I first used JBL, it was different,” Torres explained. “The sound is really clear. It’s really easy to connect to my phone and I’m in love with the headphones ... JBL is the perfect company to hear really good music.”

Whether he's locking it in before a game with his headphones on, or getting pumped up with his teammates using his speakers, JBL products play a key role in Torres’ routine, listening to tunes at every turn.

That extends to Torres’ time away from the ballpark as well. The shortstop smiled as he walked through a typical off day, spending time with his wife and bringing music to his home and on the go.

“I wake up, my wife gives me a breakfast and I'll put on some music. Maybe sometimes I'll dance with her,” he said. “Sometimes I go out with my wife to get dinner, or I go to the movies, but most of the time during the season I stay at my house to rest and all day, I listen to a lot of music.”

Music isn’t the only way Torres escapes. The former top prospect also enjoys playing video games, a way to bond with his teammates and keep in touch with old friends.

“Two years ago, I didn't play too many video games because I didn't have too much time to play Call of Duty: Warzone, NBA, FIFA, MLB The Show,” Torres said. “All my friends started to play Call of Duty and they always called me, 'hey, let's play Call of Duty' and I would say, 'no, I don't want to.' But I just started playing a few hours a day and I can't stop playing right now.”

Torres explained that during a typical week in the regular season, it’s difficult to find time to log on and spend a few hours gaming. On the weekends, though, he’s able to link up with some of his teammates in the evenings, especially third baseman Gio Urshela.

“We are Team G. Gio and Gleyber,” he said. “We have a connection on the infield and now on Call of Duty we play really well.”

Yankees infielders Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres

Yankees infielders Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres during spring training

Other than Urshela, Torres rattled off names of teammates—like Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade and more—that he’ll often play with.

“I think like a month ago, we created a custom party and we played all together,” Torres recalled, beaming. “It was amazing. It's really fun.”

Torres praised his JBL gaming headset, saying he uses it every time he plays. The sound must be good, because he, Urshela and his teammates tend to carry their success between the lines onto the virtual battlefield.

“If we have a bad day, we win like three a day,” Torres said. “When we have an awesome day, we win like eight or seven games a day. We play really well.”

Next time you witness Torres crack a home run at Yankee Stadium, or twirl on the dirt behind second base to make a highlight play on defense, take a moment to think about Torres’ routine. 

Hours are dedicated to his craft, training to becoming a better ballplayer while striving to win a championship in pinstripes. He’ll always find just a little bit of time, however, to get lost in his music or break away from it all in his video games.

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