Detroit Tigers 1B Spencer Torkelson aiming to replicate performance.
The Detroit Tigers need big things from Spencer Torkelson in 2024. Let's put it that way. The team saw their former first-overall draft pick be a top talent for Detroit in 2023, finding his way with the stick and taking serious strides to move in the right direction. Heck, he was the "Tiger of the Year," per the writers. However, the big question is whether he can replicate it in 2024.
The Detroit Tigers need Spencer Torkelson to start looking like the player that he was always expected to be. He can still take a step forward and prove to be that player. It felt like things were clicking well for Torkelson in 2023, and it's a year that he can aim to build upon.
In 2023, Torkelson played in 159 games where he slashed .233/.313/.446, where he doubled 34 times, tripled once, and added 31 home runs to his credit. He drove in 94 runs while walking 67 times and striking out 171 times. The punchout numbers could be improved, and I'm sure many folks would like that average a few ticks up, but the 34 doubles and 31 home runs should leave many excited.
The 24-year-old first baseman has been with Detroit since being the first overall pick during the 2020 MLB Draft. When Detroit snagged him, it felt like he would be the next generational talent and drew comparisons to Pete Alonso. While Torkelson has yet to quite reach that echelon, he's got a chance to keep trending in the right direction.
Even if it was not an immediate success story for Torkelson, there is still a lot to like about the right-handed hitter and his abilities in the batter's box. Torkelson has refined his swing and needs to continue changing his selectiveness. One of the knocks on Torkelson in 2023 was the inconsistency in being too passive and taking too many strikes or making bad swing decisions, and it felt like one month it was this and the other it was that.
If he cleans things up and can draw more walks but also limit the punchouts, he could likely end up with better numbers in 2024. The raw strength is there, and he has shown that. The ability to hit for power is also prevalent; the next big thing for Torkelson will be piecing it all together with a refined approach and then reaping the benefits.
Torkelson saw a jump in Barrel % from 2022 to 2023 from 8.4% to 14.1%, which speaks to Torkelson being able to do more damage at the dish last season. If he can execute like this once again in 2024, the Tigers are going to have themselves quite the bat with him. Also of note, his 50.9% Hard-Hit% in 2023 was in the Top 6% of the league.
The point is Torkelson was solid in 2023, and there should be expectations that he can get it done again in 2024.