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.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona State

Arizona infielder Garen Caulfield (1) celebrates with Arizona outfielder Mac Bingham (7) at home pl...

Torrence Dunham

Arizona baseball makes NCAA tournament, ASU part of first 4 out

The Arizona Wildcats baseball team will dance in the NCAA tournament, while Arizona State is staying home as one of the first four teams out. 

7 days ago

Associated Press

GCU’s Jacob Wilson has been the hardest player in NCAA D-I to strike out for 2 seasons

Jacob Wilson came of age in baseball when the dictates of analytics removed the shame of striking out if it meant hitting more home runs.

13 days ago

(Nuclr Golf Twitter screenshot)...

Wills Rice

Former Sun Devil Jon Rahm has meltdown at 105th PGA Championship

It has been a season of mostly highs for former ASU Sun Devil Jon Rahm, but Saturday at the PGA Championship was not one of those.

16 days ago

John Hao, second from left, watches warm ups ahead of Game 4 in an NBA basketball Eastern Conferenc...

Associated Press

ASU’s James Harden meets superfan affected in MSU shooting

Harden leaned in toward John Hao, a paralyzed MSU shooting survivor who developed a bond with the 76ers star, and gave his friend a hug.

29 days ago

Drew Maggic makes his MLB debut for the Pirates...

Associated Press

‘Best strikeout ever’: ASU product Maggi makes MLB debut after 13 years in minors

The 33-year-old Drew Maggi, who played 1,154 games in the minors, pinch hit for five-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning.

1 month ago

Drew Maggi #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates runs out a single during the ninth inning of a spring trai...

Wills Rice

Former Sun Devil Drew Maggi gets called up to MLB after 1,155 games in minors

ASU's Drew Maggi was able to see many youngster's dreams come true when he was called up to play with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

1 month ago

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