Former ASU 1B Spencer Torkelson makes Tigers’ Opening Day roster
Apr 2, 2022, 12:30 PM
(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.