Detroit Tigers Draft Spencer Torkelson, Intend to Move Him to 3B

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Spencer Torkelson, who went first overall in the 2020 MLB Draft last week, may end up being the next big thing in baseball. The Detroit Tigers drafted the Arizona State first baseman in the top slot, announcing him as a third baseman. Tigers executive Al Avila later officially signaled his club’s intent to convert him into a 3B during a post draft interview.

This gives him a lot more value now as a pick. His potential for development just increased exponentially. However, the draft is indeed a crapshoot. Or maybe perhaps a spin on the roulette wheel. Like playing the games at nettikasino, you never know what you’ll get in an outcome.

Maybe Torkelson will join the ranks of the diamond’s all-time greats. Like playing the online games at Pelaa Reactoonz so much can skill, but also luck and circumstance, go into whether or not you win and achieve success. Ken Griffey Jr., Harold Baines and Chipper Jones among others are the best of the best when it comes to #1 overall picks.

Then you have of course, since the draft began in 1965, only four number one overall picks failed to reach the Major Leagues:

1966, New York Mets, Steve Chilcott, C, Antelope Valley High School

1991, New York Yankees, Brien Taylor, LHP, East Carteret High School

2013, Houston Astros, Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

2014, Houston Astros, Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic High School

 

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Most likely, Spencer Torkelson will end up having a career that is somewhere in the middle of these two opposite extremes. He’s a big time power hitter with fast track to the majors written all over him.

As a freshman at ASU, he hit .320/.440/.743 with 25 home runs and 53 RBI over 55 games. He led the nation in homers, setting a Pac-12 record for home runs by a freshman. It also broke Barry Bonds’ school record for home runs by a freshman.

He had six home runs already in the coronavirus shortened season of 2020, leaving the Petaluma, CA native just three dongs shy of the school career record; and that was in his junior year.

At age 20, and standing 6-1 and weighing 220 pounds, he won’t have to spend much time in the minors in order to get to the show. When he does get there, he could provide Detroit with a much needed boost in relevance and excitement.

There’s no The Next Big Thing in baseball quite like a promising power hitter, as that is what gets people in the seats. Of course, nothing is a sure thing in any draft, but baseball is even more of a crap shoot. Take a look at the baseball card below, the 1991 “four aces” in the Oakland Athletics farm system at the time.

Two of the guys on that card never even reached the majors. A third pitched all of seven games, putting up poor numbers and then there’s Todd van Poppel. He had numerous chances on the MLB level, but never up mediocre, let alone good, numbers. He actually finished with a -WAR.

The MLB Draft, which will be 1.) a coming out party for Spencer Torkelson and 2.) the next crazy spin on the roulette wheel of baseball talent and how their story eventually plays out.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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