A. Raymundo Torres Ruiz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 187 lb.
Ray Torres played 20 years in the Mexican League, hitting 311 home runs and drawing 1,018 walks. Overall, he hit 332 homers in the minor leagues and his professional career lasted 23 seasons. He was known for his longevity and consistency, rarely leading the Liga in anything. He was elected to the Salón de la Fama in 2006.
1976-1977: Class A ball and LMB debut
Ray debuted in 1976 with the Hermosillo Naranjeros, hitting .253/~.291/.323. Though he would draw many walks in his career, he started off impatient, drawing just 5 in 50 games. Torres started 1977 with the Jalisco Charros and batted .421/~.479/.655. He led the Mexican Center League with 36 steals (only caught 7 times) and tied for the lead with 8 triples, as well as posting the best batting average. Called up to the Alacranes de Durango, he hit .227/~.281/.270 and was hit by more pitches (8) than he draw walks (6) in his first 69 Mexican League games.
1978-1981: Durango and US teams
In 1978, Torres batted .320/~.361/.421 for Durango. He was caught 17 times in 30 steal attempts but scored 71 runs. The 20-year-old led the LMB with 11 sacrifice flies though his caught stealing total tied for the league lead as well. In 1979, Raymundo hit .247/~.296/.364 for Durango with 16 steals in 22 tries and 7 triples. He made his debut north of the border with the Knoxville Sox (.412/~.512/.588 in 10 games) and Iowa Oaks (.357/~.357/.500 in 4 games).
Torres spent all of 1980 and 1981 with the White Sox organization. He saw only limited action in '80 with Iowa (.245/~.295/.337 in 26 games) and the Glens Falls White Sox (.239/~.315/.328 in 40 outings). In 1981, he went just 2 for 18 for Glens Falls and spent most of the year shining with the Appleton Foxes, hitting .306/?/.504 with 8 triples and 21 steals. His 12 homers marked a highwater mark to that point. The top contact hitter on the team, Torres made the Midwest League's top 10 in average.
1982-1984: Edmonton, Mexico City, Yucatan
Ray hit .233/?/.500 in 10 games for the 1982 Edmonton Trappers, his last appearance for a US-based team. He spent most of the season with the Mexico City Red Devils, hitting .311/~.421/.458 and stole 13 bases in 13 tries. Returning to Mexico City in 1983, he slipped to a .217/~.324/.348 line in 96 games. Amazingly, Mexico City probably had two low-producing outfielders who were future Salon de la Fama members as Daniel Fernandez was breaking in and should be a Salon lock when he is eligible.
In 1984, Torres split the year between Mexico City and the Yucatan Lions, batting a composite .266/~.411/.421. He was showing good OBP skills and pop (10 HR in 297 AB) but was not yet a star or a regular, having only topped 100 games twice for a team (1981 Appleton, 1978 Durango).
1985-1994: 20 homers a year for 10 years
Thanks to the high-flying Comando ball, Torres hit .341/~.438/.608 with 23 homers in 1985. In 1986, Ray batted .325/~.428/.612. It was the highest-octane season in Liga history and Torres set a career high with 31 home runs. He scored 88, drove in 92 and drew 65 walks as his walk total had climbed in each of his LMB seasons (6-23-23-37-39-40-54-65).
In 1987, the 29-year-old outfielder hit .290/~.399/.531 with a career-best 93 runs. He drove in 95, hit 28 homers and stole 16 bases in 19 tries. He continued to increase his walk total, taking 74 free passes. The Yucatan star put up a .280/~.369/.511 campaign in 1988 with 25 home runs and 93 RBI. His walk total fell for the first time during his 10 years in the Mexican League.
During the 1989 season, Torres hit .293/~.393/.543 with 26 home runs and a career-high 102 RBI. He was third in the Liga in RBI, behind Willie Aikens and Alejandro Ortiz. In 1990, Raymundo slipped to .222 in his 7th year in Yucatan, with an OBP around .345 and a .467 slugging percentage. He still clouted 20 homers, the 6th straight season he had reached that level.
In 1991, Torres Ruiz split the year between the Monterrey Industriales and the Campeche Pirates, again struggling in average (.229), doing okay in OBP (around .353) and showing good pop (.506 slugging, 30 HR, though he only had 8 other extra-base hits). It was his last season with double-digit steals (11 in 15 tries) after three years in a row with 1 or 2 with stolen bases.
Torres briefly brought his average back up in 1992 when he hit .267/~.382/.545 for Campeche, but in 1993 he was back down to a .221/~.355/.447 line, his lowest slugging percentage in 9 years. He still hit 24 homers and drew 75 walks, though.
Returning to Yucatan, the site of his best accomplishments, Ray produced at a .272/.429/.512 rate in 1994 with 24 homers and a career-high 100 walks. He was third in the LMB in walks (behind Eddie Castro and Hector Villanueva) and in homers (behind Villanueva and Marco Romero). It was his 10th straight 20-homer season and his last time to reach that level.
1995-1998: End of the line
In 1995, Torres batted .233/~.423/.421 for Yucatan. He coaxed 96 walks in 107 games, leading the Liga in bases on balls at age 37. Ray hit .221/~.385/.407 for the 1996 Lions and had his last season with double-digit home runs (exactly 10). In 1997, he only hit .194/~.351/.323 in 45 games as walks were his lone remaining skill (29 of them). In his last season in 1998, Torres batted .214/~.333/.214 in 12 contests for Yucatan.
Torres hit .268/~.378/.472 in 1,930 games in the Mexican League. He scored 1,086 runs, had 1,700 hits, 3,000 total bases, 283 doubles, 311 home runs, 1,146 RBI, 106 times hit by pitch, 91 sacrifice flies, 1,018 walks and 112 steals in 172 tries. Through 2000, he was 16th in LMB history in runs, 10th in RBI, 6th in home runs (behind Hector Espino, Nelson Barrera, Andres Mora, Alejandro Ortiz and Ronnie Camacho), 8th in walks, 4th in strikeouts (1,303), 13th in total bases, 6th in sacrifice flies and 5th in times hit by pitch. He was 24th in games played.
Mexican Pacific League
In 1,077 games and 17 years in the Mexican Pacific League, he hit 124 homers (7th all-time through 2006), 26 triples (4th) and drove in 465 (10th).
The Minor League Register ed. by W. Lloyd Johnson, 1977-1981 and 1995 Baseball Guides, Salon de la Fama website, The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros