Detroit Tigers prospect Spencer Torkelson takes bat training at Comerica Park on Saturday, July 4, 2020.
Detroit Free Press
Just before 2 p.m., Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 pick in this year’s MLB draft, came from the visitor’s dugout in Comerica Park, wearing No. 73, for his first formal workout at the summer camp.
Soon, the former Arizona State Slugger put on his first batting show at his future home.
Swinging in front of the Tigers players and coaching staff, plus various front office members watching from the stands, Torkelson showed what type of power the team worked out for him, and struck eight or nine baseballs over Comerica Park’s spacious fence in five rounds of batting.
Torkelson was the main event on the second day of training. After pitchers threw bullpen sessions, including right-handed pitching prospects Casey Mize and Franklin Perez, the first basemen took batting practice and threw during a short pitching workout.
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Miguel Cabrera was part of that training with CJ Cron, Jordy Mercer and Frank Schwindel. But Torkelson – who played first base exclusively for three years at Arizona State – will begin his career playing third base. He met in today’s second group.
He was dragged by a Tigers videographer and media relations employee as he went through calisthenics before taking swings.
Torkelson began to warm up halfway through his session; all the balls he hit over the fence went to the draw field. Starting with a pair of wall scrapers, he began to explore the seats beyond the field fence on the left.
In this brief first glance, he showed a compact swing and hit many line drivers in each gap. Although he is known for his great power, he was also considered one of the best overall finders in this year’s draft class.
Last week, Torkelson signed his rookie contract for a $ 8.4 million signing bonus, according to ML Callan’s Jim Callis. The total amount was $ 1,000 above the slot value, the record for a number 1 according to the current bonus pool rules. Torkelson is represented by agent Scott Boras.
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He was added to the Tiger’s 60-player pool afterwards and will likely compete until a “taxi ride” breaks out to train in Toledo as the regular season approaches.
Although Torkelson is considered to be closer to the big league that is clear than most consensus reviews in the past, there is no chance the Tigers will market him this season.
After hitting bat training, he took ground balls at third base. The Tigers will play him there during camp, but it really can’t be ruled out that he gets rehearsals at first base or left field either. When the team announced him as a third baseman, they basically said they thought he was more than a first baseman in sports.
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At third base, Torkelson fielded all the ground balls hit him. He seems to have a strong enough arm to play the position.
But what everyone wanted to see Saturday was his swing. For more than a year, fans have imagined how Torkelson hits home runs in a Tigers uniform.
And while he will probably get tired of hitting 400-foot rockets for flyouts, he did look at home in his first attempt to clear Comerica Park fences.
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