The Detroit Tigers already had a Gold Glove finalist in Zach McKinstry, and now it appears they have a Silver Slugger finalist as well.
Spencer Torkelson has been named a finalist for the American League's Silver Slugger award at first base. He's the club's first finalist for the award since 2016, when Miguel Cabrera won it.
Tork slashed .233/.313/.446 with 31 home runs, 94 RBIs, a 107 wRC+, and a 1.4 fWAR. Those are all massve improvements on his 2022 rookie campaign.
It was a bit of a light year at first base in 2023. Nobody really had an amazing season, and that shows in some of his competition for the award.
Boston's Triston Casas, Tampa Bay's Yandy Diaz, and Texas' Nathaniel Lowe are the other four finalists. Lowe and Casas both had good seasons, but they weren't otherworldly. So in theory, Tork has just as good of a shot as any of them to win the award.
However, I think the clear winner here will end up being Diaz. He slashed .330/.410/.522 with 22 home runs and a 164 wRC+. He had a 4.7 fWAR season at first base, which is quite impressive. He seems like the clear choice.
It is worth nothing that Tork had the most home runs and RBIs out of the bunch, so when it comes to the traditional counting stats, he has the edge. But like we talked about with McKinstry, voters often take team success into heavy consideration.
Both the Tigers and the Red Sox missed the playoffs this season, so that seeminly eliminates both Tork and Casas. This gives Diaz even more of an advantage. It feels like his award to lose.
Even if he doesn't win it, it's really cool to see Tork garner such high praise, especially after the disaster that was last season. He seems to be on the right track.