Spencer Torkelson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers first overall in 2020 from Arizona State University. He made his MLB debut on April 8, 2022. Although his first year did not go as planned for both Torkelson and the Tigers, there is still hope for the future.
Yes, he struggled in his rookie year. Yes, he did look lost at times and was eventually sent to the AAA affiliate Toledo Mud Hens. However, he is still young, full of potential, and ready to knock the cover off of the baseball in the 2023 season. Many prospects and rookies struggle their first year and turn it around shortly thereafter.
Torkelson showed promise last season in his time with the Detroit Tigers. In 360 at-bats, he had 73 hits, eight home runs, 28 runs batted in, 38 runs, a .203 batting average, and a .998 fielding percentage. He also spent time with AAA affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. With Toledo, he had 131 at-bats, five home runs, 18 runs batted in, a .229 batting average, 30 hits and 41 strikeouts.
The question is does Torkelson become a full-time first baseman in 2023 on Opening Day? Although he is a DH, Miguel Cabrera announced this will be his last season and this opens the door for Torkelson to have a breakout season to show the Tigers management he belongs full-time at first base. After Torkelson, the Detroit depth at first base is slim to none up and down the farm system. Torkelson has also played third base, but most are certain he will be a first baseman in the major leagues.
The time has come for Torkelson to show the Detroit Tigers, fans, and baseball world that he was worthy of that first overall pick. He has massive potential, and we may not see that full potential for another year. Letting him play first base this entire season and getting him comfortable with his overall game is what is best for his development, even if he struggles again.