Spencer Torkelson
Spencer Torkelson Mud Hens (cropped).jpg
Torkelson with the Toledo Mud Hens in 2021
Detroit Tigers – No. 20
First baseman / Third baseman
Born: (1999-08-26) August 26, 1999 (age 22)
Petaluma, California
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 8, 2022, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
(through July 13, 2022)
Batting average.202
Home runs5
Runs batted in21
Teams

Spencer Enochs Torkelson (born August 26, 1999) is an American baseball first baseman and third baseman for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Torkelson was selected first overall by the Tigers in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft.

Amateur career

Torkelson attended Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, California, where he played baseball, football and basketball.[1] During his high school baseball career, he batted .430 with 11 home runs and 99 runs batted in (RBIs). He committed to Arizona State University (ASU) to play college baseball for the Arizona State Sun Devils.[2]

Torkelson with Arizona State in 2019
Torkelson with Arizona State in 2019

As a freshman at Arizona State, Torkelson batted .320/.440/.743 with 25 home runs and 53 RBIs over 55 games. The 25 home runs led the nation, set a Pac-12 Conference record for home runs by a freshman, and also broke Barry Bonds' school record for home runs by a freshman.[3][4][5] He was named the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman of the Year, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Freshman Hitter of the Year and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.[6][7] After the season, he played for the United States collegiate national team.[8] As a sophomore, Torkelson joined Bob Horner as the only Arizona State players to hit 20 home runs for consecutive seasons.[9] In 2019, Baseball America ranked Torkelson as the No. 1 college prospect in the 2020 draft.[10] After the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[11][12] As a junior, Torkelson hit six home runs in a COVID-19 shortened season, giving him 53 for his ASU career, three shy of ASU's career record.[13]

Professional career

Minor leagues

The Detroit Tigers selected Torkelson with the first overall pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft.[14] On June 30, 2020, he signed with the Tigers for $8,416,300, the highest signing bonus awarded in MLB draft history. The same day, he was added to the Tigers' 60-man player pool.[15]

To begin the 2021 season, Torkelson was assigned to the West Michigan Whitecaps of the High-A Central.[16] After slashing .312/.440/.569 with five home runs and 28 RBIs over 31 games, he was promoted to the Erie SeaWolves of the Double-A Northeast in mid-June.[17] That same month, he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game.[18] Over fifty games with Erie, he batted .263 with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs.[19] On August 15, he was promoted to the Toledo Mud Hens of Triple-A East, where finished the season and hit .238/.350/.481 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs over 40 games.[20][21] After the Triple-A season ended, he joined the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League.[21]

Detroit Tigers

On April 2, 2022, the Tigers announced that Torkelson had made their Opening Day roster.[22] His first major league hit was a double off Boston Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill on April 12.[23] He hit his first major league home run off Red Sox pitcher Austin Davis on April 13.[24]

References

  1. ^ Benefield, Kerry (July 25, 2016). "Benefield: Casa Grande star adding basketball to sports resume". The Press Democrat. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Jackson, John (November 16, 2016). "Casa infielders Torkelson, Smith choose colleges". Petaluma Argus-Courier. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  3. ^ "ASU slugger Spencer Torkelson is ready for encore after record-setting freshman season". AZFamily. February 27, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Jacquez, Joe (May 5, 2018). "Spencer Torkelson sets new Pac-12 freshman home run record". The State Press. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Torkelson breaks Bonds' record". Petaluma Argus-Courier. March 30, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Metcalfe, Jeff (May 31, 2018). "ASU's Spencer Torkelson named Pac-12 baseball Freshman of the Year". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "Early raves for ASU's Torkelson". Petaluma Argus-Courier. January 23, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Spencer Torkelson Named to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team". USA Baseball. April 27, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Metcalfe, Jeff (May 17, 2019). "Cal baseball edges No. 25 ASU, series finale cancelled". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  10. ^ Hippel, Hunter (August 6, 2019). "Baseball America ranks ASU's Torkelson as college's best 2020 prospect". Arizona Sports 98.7FM.
  11. ^ "#20 Spencer Torkelson". Pointstreak. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Spencer Torkelson". Pointstreak. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Nightengale, Bob (March 23, 2020). "At Arizona State, a dream season shattered and uncertainty for potential No. 1 MLB pick Spencer Torkelson". USA Today. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  14. ^ Beck, Jason (June 11, 2020). "No. 1 pick Torkelson's got the power, will to win". MLB.com. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Beck, Jason (June 30, 2020). "Tigers, top pick Torkelson agree to deal". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "Spencer Torkelson on West Michigan Whitecaps' Opening Day roster". Mlive.com. April 29, 2021. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  17. ^ Beck, Jason (June 13, 2021). "Torkelson, Dingler earn Double-A promotion". MLB.com. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  18. ^ Callis, Jim (June 30, 2021). "Futures Game rosters are STACKED". MLB.com. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  19. ^ "Detroit Tigers' top prospect Spencer Torkelson has mind-blowing day in Erie". August 13, 2021.
  20. ^ Beck, Jason (August 15, 2021). "1 step closer: Torkelson, Greene to Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  21. ^ a b "No rest for Torkelson as Casa Grande graduate sets his sights on MLB". Petaluma Argus-Courier. October 19, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  22. ^ Zencka, TC (April 2, 2022). "Spencer Torkelson Makes Tigers Opening Day Roster". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  23. ^ Beck, Jason (April 12, 2022). "Torkelson tallies his first Major League hit". MLB.com. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  24. ^ Snyder, Matt; Axisa, Mike (April 13, 2022). "Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson hits first career MLB home run at Comerica Park". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 13, 2022.