When the Detroit Tigers started mapping out their 2022 season, they put a lot of their hopes in a couple of prized rookies.
One of them was center fielder Riley Greene, who has been mostly injured.
The other was infielder Spencer Torkelson, the first pick of the 2020 MLB Draft.
Torkelson is a consensus top-five prospect in baseball, and he had a season to remember in the minor leagues in 2021.
He hit 30 home runs last year, across three (!) minor league levels: High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A.
That earned him a place in the Tigers’ 2022 plans, and while things haven’t been working out for Detroit as a team, it’s fair to say Torkelson is evolving and learning every day.
“Evolving and learning” is a fancy way of saying he has struggled so far, but even if you don’t believe it, it’s good that he is currently slumping.
The young slugger hadn’t faced too much adversity until now, and it will be fascinating to see how he adjusts to MLB pitchers exploiting the holes in his swing.
He Is Still Learning How To Handle MLB Pitching
At the moment, and including his fourth home run of the season on Wednesday afternoon, he is slashing .173/.289/.308 with a .597 OPS.
Once the dust settles and he learns to manage all kinds of pitches from MLB hurlers, those numbers will undoubtedly rise.
Here is Wednesday’s homer, so you can see the kind of talent he has.
“Tork; 4th MLB homer for the @Tigers rook,” MLB Pipeline tweeted.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 18, 2022
It was a no-doubter against Matt Wisler, a tough Tampa Bay Rays righty.
Torkelson will one day be among the game’s greatest sluggers.
But these struggles are crucial for him: making the necessary adjustments is what will dictate his ability to achieve sustained success.