Detroit Tigers take Spencer Torkelson with No. 1 pick in 2020 MLB draft

Anthony Fenech
Detroit Free Press

As widely expected, the Detroit Tigers selected Arizona State junior third baseman Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 overall pick in Wednesday night’s 2020 MLB draft. Torkelson played first base during his college career.

Here’s how he fits into the Tigers’ rebuild:

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The player

Torkelson is the near-consensus best offensive player in this year’s draft. Known for his prodigious power, Torkelson hit .337 with 54 home runs in three seasons at Arizona State. He is considered perhaps the best collegiate hitter to enter the draft since Kris Bryant in 2013. Torkelson has enough athleticism to play a corner outfield position, but he was the Tigers’ pick for his bat.

Spencer Torkelson smashed Barry Bonds' college HR record. Now he's a Tiger ]

Why it makes sense

Torkelson is a near-perfect fit for the Tigers, who have been searching for an impact offensive prospect to pair with their stable of highly regarded pitching prospects. The Tigers have a dearth of power in their system. And with their rebuilding process scheduled to end in the next couple years, Torkelson’s big league readiness is a cherry on top. Expect Torkelson to be a fast mover. He likely will be ranked as one of the Tigers’ top three prospects.

Why it’s a risk

There is a stigma in drafting a right-handed hitting first baseman at the top of the draft — it doesn’t happen much. But the Tigers clearly think he can play multiple positions. There don’t seem to be many other serious risks with Torkelson, a power hitter with good bat control who the Tigers should be able to plug into the middle of their batting order for years to come. The real risk is if a player the Tigers pass on proves to be a much better player in the majors, and one that could ultimately provide the difference between good and great teams.

Trending:Why Tigers drafted Spencer Torkelson as a third baseman