Former ASU 1B Spencer Torkelson makes Tigers’ Opening Day roster

Apr 2, 2022, 12:30 PM
Spencer Torkelson #7 of the American League Futures Team stands on defense during a game against th...
Spencer Torkelson #7 of the American League Futures Team stands on defense during a game against the National League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Just over two years after hitting his final home run at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for Arizona State, infielder Spencer Torkelson will make his MLB debut at 22 years old.

The 2020 No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft made the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day roster, the team announced on Saturday.

Torkelson spent three seasons with ASU, including the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. He broke out in 2018, annihilating the school’s freshman home run record previously owned by Barry Bonds (11) with 25.

He drilled 23 long balls and improved his batting average from .320 to .351 in 2019, as he and a potent Sun Devils lineup led the team to an NCAA Tournament berth.

Pitchers wanted nothing to do with him as a junior, and he was intentionally walked 15 times in 17 games.

His quick ascension through the Tigers’ farm system led him to Triple-A last season, where he hit 11 home runs in 40 games with a .881 OPS.

FanGraphs’ RosterResource projects Torkelson to be Detroit’s starting first baseman this year.

Torkelson enters the 2022 season as the No. 4 prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline.

Thanks to impressive physical strength, Torkelson has some of the best raw power in the Minors, and it shows in both batting practice and game settings. He isn’t just a modern free swinger either. Torkelson is patient in the box, willing to take a walk and able to control the zone with a sound swing.

He is slated to take the field in the Valley this year as the Tigers face the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series starting on June 24 at Chase Field.

Arizona State

Arizona State Sun Devils hockey forward Josh Doan at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Oct. 14, 2...
Austin Scott

ASU forward Josh Doan decides to go pro with Coyotes

Josh Doan will leave the Sun Devils after two seasons. He will debut for the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday.
8 days ago
Guard Bobby Hurley of the Duke Bluie Devils confers with a referee during a game against the Florid...
Jake Anderson

Coach K showed Bobby Hurley video to help control his emotions as freshman at Duke

Mike Krzyzewski showed Bobby Hurley a tape of when he lashed out at officials, teammates and had bad body language his freshman year at Duke.
1 month ago
Arizona State forward Alonzo Gaffney (32) sets a screen for teammate Desmond Cambridge Jr. (4) agai...
Jake Anderson

ASU men’s hoops pulls out OT win over Cal to complete sweep of Bay Area schools

Arizona State men's hoops completed a much-needed sweep of the Bay Area schools with a 70-62 overtime win over Cal on Saturday.
1 month ago
Arizona State guard DJ Horne gestures after making a 3-point basket against Stanford during the sec...
Associated Press

Arizona State men’s hoops closes out Stanford with 14-2 run in comeback win

DJ Horne scored eight points in Arizona State's closing 14-2 run as the Sun Devils rallied for a 69-65 win over Stanford on Thursday night.
1 month ago
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley after a 75-70 loss to Oregon at Desert Financial Arena in Tem...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State basketball’s comeback falls short in loss to Oregon

Arizona State men's hoops needed to sweep the Oregon schools in order to keep pace with others who are on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament.
2 months ago
Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of The American E...
Associated Press

ASU golf alumnus Jon Rahm wins AmEx tournament by 1 stroke

ASU golf alumnus Jon Rahm won The American Express tournament by one stroke on Sunday, his second PGA Tour win in as many starts this year.
2 months ago
Former ASU 1B Spencer Torkelson makes Tigers’ Opening Day roster