The Detroit Tigers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with third baseman Spencer Torkelson from Arizona State University, the first overall selection in the 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. In addition, the Tigers announced that Torkelson has been added to the club’s player pool for 2020 Summer Camp.
With the signing of Torkelson, the Tigers have now agreed to terms with all six of their selections from the 2020 draft.
Torkelson, 20, established himself as one of the top hitters in NCAA history over his two-plus seasons as a Sun Devil, batting a combined .337/.463/.729 with 33 doubles, 54 home runs and 130 RBI. His home run total was just two shy of tying Bob Horner’s school record of 56 homers. Torkelson was a unanimous All-American and was selected to play for the U.S. Collegiate National Team in 2018 and 2019.
Belting 25 home runs as a freshman in 2018 and 23 as a sophomore in 2019, Torkelson became just the third player in Pac-12 history to have consecutive seasons with 25-or-more longballs. If he had hit 25-or-more home runs in his junior season, Torkelson would have cracked the NCAA top-10 all-time leaderboard, a feat accomplished by just one player since 2000.
Torkelson hit .340/.598/.780 with four doubles, six home runs and 11 RBI in 17 games during his abbreviated junior season.
Torkelson put together one of the best freshman seasons in college baseball history in 2018, batting .320/.440/.743 with 12 doubles, 25 home runs and 53 RBI. Torkelson led the country with 25 home runs, which were two more than any other player and just one shy of the NCAA freshman record. His also easily surpassed the previous Arizona State freshman record of 11 home runs in a season, set by Barry Bonds in 1983. Torkelson was tabbed the National Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game, the National Co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball News, the National Freshman Hitter of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
A native of Petaluma, CA, Torkelson was a four-year varsity starter at Casa Grande High School, hitting .430 with 32 doubles, 11 home runs and 99 RBI in 110 games. He also maintained a 1.24 ERA in 16 career appearances on the mound, throwing 22.2 innings.