Tigers’ Spencer Torkelson Makes Opening Day Roster

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Detroit Tigers Spencer Torkelson is on the Opening Day roster. Per Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, the team made it official this afternoon. He will serve as the team’s first baseman, with Miguel Cabrera serving as the DH. The 22-year old is the fourth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The promotion comes just two years after the Tigers drafted the Arizona State product. It’s impressive as Torkelson quickly rose through the farm system. One week before a highly anticipated season in Detroit, they have the right pieces to be in contention for the AL Central division title.

 

Spencer Torkelson Profile

At Arizona State, Torkelson broke Barry Bonds’ freshman home run record with 25. He led the Pac-12 in home runs during his freshman and sophomore seasons. When it came time for the 2020 MLB Draft, the Sun Devil was the top prospect. The Tigers selected took him first overall. Torkelson was the first infielder to go No. 1 since Adrián González in 2000. He signed for just over $8.4 million, which remains a draft record.

Torkelson’s struggles last spring were notable, going 1-for-27 with 16 strikeouts. His slump extended into his first pro season until Torkelson broke out in May. From there, he went from High-A through Double-A. Torkelson finished the season with Triple-A Toledo, hitting .231/.350/.351 in 40 games. Across all three minor league ranks, he posted a .267/./383/.552 line, hitting 30 home runs with 91 RBI. in 536 plate appearances.

Torkelson’s athleticism could improve their defensive infield. He has some raw power who’s patient in the batters’ box. Jonathan Schoop will join him at second base, Javier Báez at shortstop, and Jeimer Candelario at third base. With the Tigers’ latest prospect being promoted, Torkelson isn’t the young player on the roster. Former top prospects Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning are already pitching in the majors. The Tigers were poised to promote another top prospect in Riley Greene. However, Greene will miss time due to a foot fracture.

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Players mentioned:

Spencer Torkelson, Miguel Cabrera, Barry Bonds, Adrián González, Jonathan Schoop, Javier Báez, Jeimer Candelario, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Riley Greene