Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson’s chase to 30 home runs

DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Spencer Torkelson #7 of the American League Futures Team bats against the National League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Spencer Torkelson #7 of the American League Futures Team bats against the National League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers’ number one draft pick Spencer Torkelson could join his teammate Josh Lester in the 30 home run club this week as he hit his 29th yesterday down in Louisville.

Detroit Tigers fans recall the team’s early struggles prior to May 7th before they figured it out and started to play competitive baseball. The same could be said for Spencer Torkelson as he was adjusting to pro ball.

After his first month at High-A West Michigan, he was batting .235 with three home runs and 17 RBI. The signs of a good eye were there as he drew 15 walks to 21 strikeouts but fans were waiting on the power.   They would witness it as he hit his first professional home run came on May 22 against Wisconsin.

Bits and pieces started coming together around the beginning of June between the two series against two Michigan High-A affiliates, the Great Lakes Loons, and the Lansing Lugnuts.  In those twelve games, he batted .439 (18-for-41) with nine doubles and a pair of home runs, which earned him a call up to Erie.

It did not take him too long to adjust to Erie as on June 18th, he hit his first Double-A home run and finished the month of June with the SeaWolves with four home runs, 11 RBI, and batted .280 (14-for-50)

Spencer Torkelson in July and August:

In terms of batting average, his July was at .231 but he hit six home runs and was still walking at a good clip. On August 12th against Altoona, Torkelson would provide a show for all fans to see with a two-home run game as he was concluding his time in Erie.

Then on August 25th, he hit his first Triple-A home run. Since then, he has hit 9 home runs, his best stretch of the season.

What has been noticeable in the month of September is his effort to go the opposite field as shown here earlier in the month against Iowa.

The 30 Detroit Tigers farm system home run club since 1978.

More than likely, we could also see infielder Aderlin Rodriguez join this list by the end of the week as he sits at 28 home runs but here is the list:

  • Josh Lester (32) 2021
  • Christen Stewart (30) – 2016
  • Steven Moya (35) – 2014
  • Mike Hessman (34) – 2008
  • Hessman (31) – 2007
  • Kurt Airoso (34) – 2004
  • Mike Rivera (33) – 2001
  • Dave McCarty (31) – 1999
  • Phil Hiatt (42) – 1996
  • Bubba Trammell (33) – 1996
  • Ivan Cruz (31) – 1995
  • Rondal Rollin (30) – 1985
  • Mike Laga (30) – 1984
  • Laga (34) – 1982
  • Laga (31) – 1981
  • Al Greene (32) – 1978

In case you were curious about how he did at home ballparks versus going on the road, here is his split courtesy of Baseball Reference. His growth in just one year across three levels has been impressive as the raw power grade tool of 70 is coming together.

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