Tampa, FL - When I hear the name Sixto Torres, I think of a wild west gun slinging cowboy like "Billy the Kid."
Torres, can definitely sling it but his choice of weapon is a baseball traveling at 93mph that racks up K's from his opponents.
A lot of times, more than I care to remember, we hear of a kid throwing low 90's or touching 95mph, etc. Usually it's an RHP and usually the velocities are no where near what we were told when we see the player pitch. If it's an LHP, ha, we definitely take it with 2-3 grains of salt. That's why word of mouth in the scouting world is exactly that, word of mouth, not factual.
When FTB founder George Gonzalez told me he had a 6'4" LHP in his program that had been up to 93mph before that not a lot of people knew about, I believed George but thought how doesn't anyone not know about this kid. After he told me the kid's name was Sixto Torres, I immediately remembered seeing his name on a roster from a spring break tournament we scouted at Lake Brantley HS in Orlando. I told George I never saw Sixto play though at that tournament.
After I was done talking with George about Sixto, I started thinking on how players even with Sixto's ability get lost and fall between the cracks of high school baseball. Don't ask me how it happens, but it happens.
Luckily, Torres agreed to pitch on our Pro Classic team at our PW Underclass All-American Games at USF this past mid-August.
The first player that showed up for the Pro Classic Friday night game was another FTB player, Bryan Schecker. I asked Schecker about Torres and what kind of pitcher he was, Bryan just smiled, laughed and then said, "he's good and funny." I said, "92-93mph good?" Schecker said, "yes, or better."
Well, needless to say I was pretty excited to see a player with a wild west cowboy name take the mound under the lights later that night.
Not long after Schecker had arrived at USF, Torres came walking in and at least passed the eye test right away. Sixto is a legit 6'3"-6'4" with long limbs and strong legs. My excitement kept building, it's the waiting that's the hardest part for scouts when they may have a chance to see a rare player actually play against good competition.
The night game started, the stage was set for Torres and let's just say SIX-TO was an AUTO-matic no-brainer.
When a pitcher is warming up near 90mph, that's a good sign. It doesn't take a veteran scout to know that.
Torres threw two innings, faced six batters and K'd six batters. His fastball sat mainly 89-91mph and touched 93mph with life and movement. Sixto's arm is lightning quick, works well and he loves to compete. There were a few change-ups he threw that I had to ask his catcher if they were sliders because of the movement. And his sliders, they were wipeout pitches. Left-handed hitters literally had no chance on his slider.
There was an electricity in the air with Torres on the mound and in the dugout, players can tell when another player is special.
After his two innings, I asked him as we were watching the game from the top step of the dugout how he thought he did. Torres said, "eh not too good." I laughed and said, "you were up to 93mph with sink, run, life and K'd six batters and you'll be up to 95mph or better soon, don't worry!" To that he replied, "me today, should be 92-95mph with better control." I patted him on his shoulder and told him he did well but as I walked away, I thought, that's a winners mentality. That mentality will drive Sixto to compete at the highest level.
There's no telling how far in college or professional baseball Sixto will go, maybe we'll see him striking out 6 out of 6 batters at the MLB level some day.
Either way, it was nice for one night to see an electric arm that lived up to the hype for once. WIthout George Gonzalez, our staff would've had to wait to see Sixto pitch. There's no doubt Torres has MLB caliber talent and his quick arm may produce a mid to maybe upper 90's fastball in the next couple of years.
As all stories grow over time don't be surprised if in a few years the new PW Underclass All-American's are telling stories about a kid named Sixto that struck out 7, but only faced 6 batters.
Sixto Torres, definitely a man and not a myth. We saw it with our own eyes.