ON THE FAST TRACK

Sports Card Monthly|May 2020

ON THE FAST TRACK
Spencer Torkelson may not be a household name yet... but it won't be long
MIKE PAYNE

When his junior season suddenly ended a month after it had begun, Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson was just three home runs shy of becoming the school’s all-time home runs leader.

And this is the same school that produced Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson and Bob Horner. It’s Horner who holds the career mark with 56 home runs. Torkelson had 54 when the college season abruptly ended March 12 because of the COVID-19 virus.

If the 2020 college baseball season truly is over, Torkelson will get on with the business of professional baseball. The 6-1, 220-pound first baseman is considered the favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. The Detroit Tigers own that pick thanks to a fantastically wretched year of baseball in The D – 114 losses.

Detroit needs a bat in the lineup and figures to consider Torkelson, New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales and Vanderbilt third baseman Austin Martin. Of course, Tigers GM Al Avila isn’t going to tip his hand before the Draftscheduled to start June 10 (assuming that date is not affected by health shutdowns), but he’s not shy about confirming Torkelson is very much on the Tigers’ radar.

“Torkelson is certainly one of the guys that we’re looking at,” Avila told Detroit’s 97.1 FM The Ticket. “And we got to meet him already, too, so that’s a big advantage for us.”

The 20-year-old Torkelson would seem the perfect fit for the Tigers who are looking to replace Miguel Cabrera at first base with a new slugger as the future Hall of Famer begins full-time DH duties.

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May 2020