Rafael Torres – OF/IF with pop from top NAIA program seeking career overseas
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Rafael Torres moved to the U.S. in 2010 to pursue a college baseball career. After a year in junior college, he earned a spot in one of the top NAIA college baseball programs in the nation, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU). During his four years at OKWU he gained a lot of knowledge and experience about the game of baseball including a NCCAA Championship in 2011, NCCAA runner up in 2012 and in 2014 a third place finish at the NAIA World Series.
Playing for such a baseball program also meant that Rafael was competing for playing time with top talent. Unfortunately he did not receive much regular or post season playing time, only appearing in 12 games of which he posted a .400 batting average. The fact is, just to make the squad says a lot about the talent and athleticism Rafael possesses. Rafael did not switch colleges despite his lack of playing time and continued to focus on his studies while also focusing on improving as a player during the summers playing in a league in Dallas.
Rafael signed his first professional contract to play in the Swedish second division for the summer of 2017 where he has a slashline of .517/.625/.896 as of July 1, 2017. He has been called up the Swedish first division for some games as well and is putting up similar numbers. This video showcases his power well with two home runs, one in league play and one in tournament play, both in Europe in 2017.
At the plate he is a top of the line up hitter, possessing great speed (6.6/60 yd), hits for average, is a selective hitter and a great bunter.
After leaving his home country to start a career in baseball, Rafael is no stranger to living away from home for the game of baseball. In Oklahoma, he had to build a new support system and find his own way. This proved to be a risk worth taking as four years later Rafael graduated with a college degree and was part of a NCCAA championship and is a much better person and baseball player today then when he left.
Rafael is excited about the possibility to play overseas and continue a career. He realizes that his lack of playing time in college may be a burden in this pursuit, so he is willing to pay his flight in hopes of an opportunity to prove his worth.
Date of birth: 1991-08-10
Birthplace / Current Residence: San Juan, Puerto Rico / Houston, Texas
Passports held: yes
Height and weight: 5′ 10″ 185
Bats / Throws: right/right
Primary position(s): Center Field, Right Field
Secondary position(s): Left field, 2nd base
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science
Hobbies and Interests: Coaching little league, exercising, and going to the beach
Post baseball career plans: To open a baseball academy and continue coaching
Relationship status: Wife and children whom he wants to bring with him abroad. Will pay their flights and living expenses.
Recent injuries or illnesses: no
2017: Sölvesborg Firehawks, Swedish First Division
2017: Karlskoga Bats, Swedish Second Division
2015, 2016: Mexican League
2010-2014: Oklahoma Wesleyan University
2009-2010: Ranger College
2010, 2011, 2012 summers: Dallas Amateur Baseball Association (DABA)
2014: 3rd place at NAIA World Series, Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Article
2012: NCCAA Runner Up, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
2011: NCCAA Champion, Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Article
Summer 2014: Assistant Head Coach, Bethany High School baseball
Jason Frost – Assistant coach, OKWU
Luis Claudio – Dallas Amateur Baseball Association
“I coached Rafa for several years as a young college prospect.Base Running: Rafael has speed at the bases and subscribed to an aggressive base running program. He read pitchers well and was a factor in distracting pitchers posing a threat to steal. He was aggressive in stretching a single into a double with an instinct for that stretch.Hitting: I positioned Rafael in the five hole position to push my lead offs around the bases. He was discipline at the plate with a high on base percentage. He has the ability to hit to the opposite side and was able to muscle the ball over the fence on a few occasions. His key hitting attribute was his patience at the plate to drive to the opposite side to bring runners around.Fielding. I played him in Centerfield and left field. He was able to range left and right of center and his strong arm were key to his playing the position. As he grew into this position, he was able to throw in front of runners minimizing their advance after hitting the ball. Good instincts.Team player: Rafa is easy to get along with. He is a team player and understands the needs of the team in and off the field. He gets along well with teammates and is easy to coach. “
Rafael is willing to pay his flights if a club can provide accommodations and a small salary. He is available anytime.
Phone/Whatsapp: +1 (832) 725-7136