The MLB is getting way younger. Players like Cody Bellinger, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuna Jr. haven’t even hit 25 yet. All three of those players have two things in common, they’re rising superstars and they have lots of power. Spencer Torkelson will fit right in because of those two things.
Torkelson is one of the most MLB-ready players in this draft. That being said, he has invariable tools that can help his future MLB franchise. One of these tools is power and a lot of it. In 2019, the slugging first baseman hit .351/.446/.707 with 17 doubles and 23 homers. His ability to work counts and control at-bats leads to him being able to drive his pitch. Furthermore, he walks at a very solid rate as well, meaning he gets on baseball regardless of whether he hits a homer or not.
Torkelson really impressed scouts after his freshman year performance, where he hit .320/.440/.743 with 25 homers. Afterward, he was invited to the Cape Cod League where he absolutely dominated. In the 2018 CCBL season he hit .333/.472/.704 once again flexing his hitting prowess.
It was much of the same for Spencer the following year, once again putting up gaudy numbers in dominating fashion. In 2020, before losing the season to the COVID-19 pandemic, Torkelson was hitting .340/.598/.780 with four doubles and six homers through 17 games.
Torkelson hits the ball very well. Unfortunately for him, he’s no Rickey Henderson on the basepaths. While he’s not slow as molasses, he’s not fast as lightning either. On the MLB scale, Torkelson scored a 40 for speed. Some people would also say that his fielding is a “weakness”, but in reality, it’s right on par for an MLB first baseman. He scored a 50 on the MLB scale which is right around “Average”, and his elite bat certainly does make up for it.
Most first baseman aren’t usually known for their glovework, but more for their bat. Players like Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and a few others come to mind when talking about guys that were average fielders. Cabrera won a triple crown, and Fielder consistently was atop the home run leaders. Torkelson is in the same boat, and his fielding won’t impact his playing time.
MLB Player Comparison
There’s something about Torkelson’s plate approach that screams “elite plate presence”. At 6’1 220 lbs, he is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. His powerful approach coupled with his ability to get on base would remind you of Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. Coming out of an institute in Canada in 2002, Votto was similarly rated bat-wise to Torkelson. The only glaring difference is that Joey Votto was originally drafted as a catcher, not a first baseman. Once Votto was at home at first base, he flourished into an MVP caliber player and the face of the franchise for the Cincinnati Reds.
Votto is quite the comparison, as he is one of the elite on-base guys in baseball, and during his prime, he was regularly a guy who amassed 60+ EBH. After seeing what Torkelson can do at the plate, he is one of the “MVP caliber” players in this MLB Draft.
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