Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson primed for big bounce back in 2023

Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) singles during a Spring Training game at Tropicana Field.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) singles during a Spring Training game at Tropicana Field. / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers infielder Spencer Torkelson primed for big bounce back.

When the Detroit Tigers came to a consensus that Spencer Torkelson was the number one option for them to use the first overall pick on in the 2020 MLB Draft, there was not much opposition. It felt like it was the easy choice and that he was the clear-cut no.1 option in the talent pool.

As the 2023 season approaches and the Detroit Tigers continue tuning up, they are still looking for that generational talent to poke through with Torkelson. Some got worried when he got into the big leagues and was not swinging it like Barry Bonds or playing like the next Pete Alonso over there at first base. But there's no reason to worry quite yet.

He skidded along in his first big league season and was demoted eventually to get a reset in during some time back at the Triple-A level with the Toledo Mud Hens. While Riley Greene is ready for lift-off in year two after an exceptional rookie campaign, the same is not said for Torkelson.

However, there is no reason to panic just yet. Year two will be Torkelson's chance to right the ship, and this spring, it looks like he will be able to do so. He's been hitting balls incredibly hard, which is not a shocker, but he's getting rewarded on them. His BABIP is not suffering but instead blossoming this spring.

For Torkelson, he has been able to make contact with one of the smoother operations out of an up-and-coming prospect; his issue was being able to get lucky. But, this spring, he continues to hit the ball hard and get rewarded for it. He's laying the groundwork for a big 2023 season.

In 2022, Torkelson debuted with the Tigers and found his way into 110 games between his two stints with the team. He hit .203/.285/.319 with 16 doubles, a triple, and eight home runs, plating 28 runs in a Tigers uniform. He also had a .255 BABIP in 2022, which is worth noting.

He's always been good with swing decisions, though everyone can always work to improve and continue seeing the ball well. He's smart with the bat in his hands and truly just had a hard time getting the ball to land on the turf, even after scorching it at 100+ mph off the barrel.

This spring, its been a much different tune for him as he continues to hit balls hard and continues to do damage. They are Spring Training stats, so take them for what it's worth, but they are worth talking about in Torkelson's case.

In 12 games this spring, Torkelson has logged 31 at-bats, slashing .258/.343/.303 with three doubles to his credit. The more important number is that Torkelson has managed a .348 BABIP, doing some serious damage when the bat does leave his shoulder.

The Tigers must be excited about how things are shaping up this Spring for Torkelson. It should be a fun summer for Torkelson and the Tigers as he tries to really find his footing with the organization.

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