Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson is going to be alright.
When the Detroit Tigers selected Spencer Torkelson with the first overall draft pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, they thought they were getting a player with a chance to be a generational talent. He was ranted and raved about as someone who will bring his collegiate hit & power tool success into a big-league organization and be downright dominant.
That has not been the case for the Detroit Tigers first baseman. There's an argument to be made about how Torkelson's development path has been handled and a case to be made about his performance to this point for the Tigers.
Don't look now, but Torkelson currently leads the Tigers in home runs, with 15 on the season. While that's not league-leading or earth-shattering news, it's at least nice to see Torkelson tapping into some juice and seeing the ball clear the fence for a home run.
For a player who has some definite juice and is able to hit the ball exceptionally hard, it must be nice to barrel one up and see it leave the yard. Think like a golfer seeing a putt drop in a rough patch or a point guard seeing one go through during a cold streak.
Torkelson may not be on pace for some drastic power number, but the 15 home runs in 2023 at this point is a good thing for him. He's seemingly been someone who's got the profile to be a late bloomer; at least, that's how it seems.
It's not to say that he will magically come alive and be the next generational talent in the big leagues, but his performance has seemingly improved. In 2023, Torkelson has logged 97 games, totaling 417 plate appearances. He has slashed .230/.307/.414 with 21 doubles, a triple, and the 15 home runs.
Comparing things to 2022, in 13 more at-bats in 2023, Torkelson has better numbers all across the board. He's been nearly the same in terms of walks and strikeouts, but the bat starting to come around is another excellent piece of the puzzle for the Tigers' right-handed hitter.
Torkelson might just be a late bloomer. The path he took to the big leagues may have rushed him a bit, and it has resulted in him taking some time to catch himself up to speed and find his feet underneath him. But it seems like he's surely finding his footing now in 2023.
The Tigers have to be happy with the improvements Torkelson has made and how the stats have also improved. The team-leading 15 home runs is an excellent sign of things to come for Torkelson if things go well and he continues to improve.