Spencer Torkelson Drafted by the Detroit Tigers with the First Overall Pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, after Going Undrafted in 2017
Spencer Torkelson was born on August 26, 1999, in Petaluma, California. After hitting .430 with 99 RBIs at Casa Grande High School, he was sure he would be drafted in one of the 40 rounds in the 2017 MLB Draft. However, after three days, and 1215 players picked, Torkelson never heard his name called.
Torkelson said to MLB Network “It was tough for me. I watched all three days of the draft in 2017 and saw a lot of names of guys I played against get drafted… It hurt. It kind of lit a fire inside me and I said, ‘I’m not going to feel this again’ and coming junior year at ASU I’m going to be a first-rounder. I told myself that.”
At Arizona State, Spencer started off with a boom, breaking Barry Bonds’s school-record homeruns as a freshman, with 25, while hitting .320 with 52 RBI in 55 games.
Torkelson was named the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman of the Year, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Freshman Hitter of the Year, and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
As a sophomore, Spencer joined Bob Horner as the only Arizona State players to hit at least 20 home runs in two consecutive seasons.
Before COVID-19, Torkelson had 6 home runs on the season, just three shy of ASU’s career record, which he would have easily shattered had there been a full season.
Going into the draft there was some question who would go number 1, but the debate was settled when the Detroit Tigers took Spencer as the first pick in the 2020 MLB draft. Torkelson is just the third first baseman ever drafted first overall.
However, the Tigers manager, Al Avila said that he will probably start out at 3rd base: “We know he can play first, but our scouts strongly feel that he can play third base, and that’s our intent at this point.”
The Number 1 Pick took this news in full stride saying “It’s not a shock to me. I prided myself as a baseball player and a baseball player isn’t stuck at one position… You’re playing all over the place and that’s what I pride myself on. I pride myself on winning and getting the job done and if that’s at third base that’s what it is. I’ll do my best over there and make it happen.”
Despite the coronavirus, the times are looking up for Spencer Torkelson who has a slot value of $8.4 million.
Nathaniel is a student at the College Preparatory School. His favorite sports to play are Baseball and Basketball. He also enjoys watching Football. He is a sports writer for At the Buzzer.