Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson looking to "find his swing"
The Detroit Tigers' first baseman is hoping to rediscover his old swing in 2023
Spencer Torkelson's rookie season was one to forget. The former No. 1 overall pick looked lost at the plate for most of the season, was sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break, and never really looked like himself at any point. For the Detroit Tigers to have any success, they need Tork to be what they think he can be.
Torkelson was recently interviewed on MLB Network Radio, where he said he's looking to find the swing he had back in college and in the minors. Here's the full clip:
It sure sounds like Tork doesn't think any major overhaul in his swing is needed. He thinks he just needs to get back to the basics, which is interesting depending on who you ask.
Some folks thing this is entirely possible. There is video out there of him at Arizona State where his swing was just one fluid motion. When he got into pro ball, he added this little hand tap as a timing mechanism, and it appeared to have the opposite effect to what he was hoping for. It seems like it has caused him to be late on fastballs.
We saw this first hand last year. He could not catch up to velocity. What was particularly concerning was that he couldn't pitches down the middle. He only hit .210 against middle-middle pitches last season. That's simply not going to cut it.
There are also people that think he needs a bit of an attitude adjustment. They think he's too stubborn to make any substantial changes and think it will lead to his downfall as an MLB player. This is also entirely possible.
When you look at it from Tork's perspective, his swing has worked for him his entire life up until he got to the big leagues. It's natural that he wouldn't want to make huge any changes. But at the same time, if it's not working, then he needs to do something about it.
This is the big leagues. Pitchers are smart, teams are smart. They will pick you apart if you aren't prepared. It's a league of adjustments, and Tork hasn't seemed willing to make very many.
Personally, I still believe in Tork. He has far too much talent and ability to continue to be as bad as he was last season. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
But if he comes out of the gate hitting .190 and looking lost again, then it's going to be time for some drastic changes. I don't think this new front office will be as patient with Torkelson as the previous one. I feel like A.J. Hinch will have a shorter leash with him this time as well.
Spencer Torkelson was the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 for a reason. He's been a great hitter in the past, and it's up to him—and only him—to become one again.