Spencer Torkelson is ready for the majors, and Detroit Tigers fans are hoping it happens in 2022. The former first-overall pick out of Arizona State in the 2020 MLB Draft will be given a chance to earn a spot on the big-league roster.
Distinguished College Career
Torkelson had a distinguished college career at Arizona State. As a freshman, he hit .320 with 25 home runs and 53 RBI in 55 games. Those 25 home runs led the nation and set a Pac-12 record for home runs by a freshman. They also broke Barry Bonds’ school record for home runs by a freshman. He won numerous Freshman of the Year awards given out by D1Baseball and the writers who cover it.
As a sophomore, he hit 23 homeruns and joined Bob Horner as the only Arizona State players to hit at least 20 home runs in consecutive seasons. He followed that up by hitting six home runs in the COVID-19-shortened junior season. This put him at him 53 for his career, three shy of the Sun Devils career record.
Drafted and Signed
After being drafted by the Tigers, he signed with them for $8,416,300, the highest signing bonus awarded in MLB draft history. Torkelson was added to the Tigers 60-man player pool, but, due to the pandemic, only worked out with the big-league club.
For the 2021 season, he was assigned to the West Michigan Whitecaps of High-A Central. After batting .312 with five home runs and 28 RBI over 31 games, he was promoted to the Erie SeaWolves of the Double-A Northeast in mid-June. That same month, he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game. On August 15 he earned promotion to the Toledo Mud Hens of Triple-A East. There, in 40 games, he hit .238 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI.
Arizona Fall League
After the Triple-A season ended, Torkelson joined the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. Not only was he going to play in front of the hometown fans who saw him play at ASU, but the AZ Fall League is the league where all MLB teams assign their top prospects. The league provides a background for top prospects to advance their development in a setting that MLB directs and monitors. Torkelson played in seven games with 20 at-bats, hitting .450 with nine hits and eight walks.
Position to Play
Spencer Torkelson is ready for the majors, but which position he will play is yet to be determined. While in college and the minors, he played both first and third base along with the outfield. Defensively, he worked hard to improve at first in the minors and is very comfortable there. Regardless of where he plays, it will certainly be his bat that makes him a special player in the big leagues.
Torkelson’s defense improved over the summer thanks to his work with MLB Hall of Famer Alan Trammell. At first base, he has handled himself with quickness and alertness to get to the bag for an out. If he is able to stay at third base, it could certainly make the most of his future in the big leagues. This could put him in the lineup almost every day playing first one game, third the next, and even designated hitter.
Spencer Torkelson is ready for the majors but what Detroit Tiger fans are hoping to see from him is his swing. It is powerful and he delivers solid contact time after time. He has the ability to hit for both average and power and he has shown to be extremely patient and draws plenty of walks. He combines his physical strength, and he has and his bat speed to create extra-base hits.
Spencer Torkelson is ready for the majors in 2022 season. Let everyone see what he can do day in and day out. We all know — just as well as the Tigers coaches know — that his talent is there. It is time to let him showcase it.