2. Why Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson can have a breakout year in 2023
Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson had a very different type of season for the team as a rookie in 2022. He appeared in more games than Riley Greene but the results weren’t nearly as good. He wrapped up his first sips of coffee with the 2022 Tigers batting .203/.285/.319 with 8 home runs. Unfortunately, the power-hitting first baseman wasn’t much better in his 35 games in Triple-A where he hit .229/.348/.389 with 5 long balls.
Torkelson will rely on the home run ball to be successful in the majors. He struck out about once in every four trips to the plate which wasn’t good but it wasn’t horrendous either especially when compared to how teammate Javier Baez has performed in past years.
Changes to Comerica Park to make it a little more hitter-friendly might lead to a slight uptick in Torkelson’s production, but he’ll need to do more than rely on shorter fences.
The first overall pick from the 2020 MLB draft fell a bit with last year’s struggles. There isn’t any reason to smash the panic button just yet. In fact, thinking more optimistically about what he can do in 2023 should be the focus for now. A breakout season for him might be less likely than Greene. However, if players around him do improve, Torkelson will have a greater chance to knock in runs and show off the power we know he possesses.