While the MLB is failing to get a season together, the league has gifted fans with a shortened draft. The draft will consist of 5 rounds, rather that the usual 40 due to shortened high school and college seasons.
The Detroit Tigers hold the number one overall pick and most mock drafts projected them to take Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson. Although, other may seem to think Detroit could take Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin. Here’s Why.
A week ago, it almost seemed certain that Torkelson would be the favored pick. But as more draft writers begin to speculate, I have become less confident that Torkelson is a lock to Detroit.
Who is the bigger need?
While the Tigers don’t have an elite middle infield prospect, I think the second round of the draft will offer some great talent. Some candidates for this selection would be Baylor’s Nick Loftin or even Arizona State’s Alika Williams.
But as most people know the Tigers desperately lack a powerful hitter in their farm system. While Riley Greene looked very promising in this past spring training he is not the hitting talent that Torkelson pans out to be.
The real debate happening in the Tigers organization is “Can the team really pass on the ASU first baseman”. He put up video game numbers with the Sun Devils in his junior season as he batted .340, cracked 6 home runs, and had a 1.378 OPS in only 17 games.
Immeasurable statistics is why Torkleson is being considered to be the number one pick.
I was able to catch up Torkelson’s college teammate, Nick Cheema. Cheema stated Torkelson’s work ethic is, “Unmatched. He lives in the cages and weight room and obviously it pays off when you watch him play”.
I also asked Cheema about how Torkelson is as a teammate. Cheema stated, “He makes everyone better. He pushes everyone to be their best at all times”. Cheema added a comment regarding Torkelson’s love for the game, “[He’s] Passionate, He is as passionate as anyone”.
I think that the Tigers need to draft Torkelson. He has the most upside in this draft and he is the pure power hitter the Tigers organization lacks. I’ve said this before, he is Miguel Cabrera’s replacement. If he hits well in the minors, we could see him a year from now.
Big thanks to Arizona State’s Nick Cheema for the helpful quotes!
Photo: CBS Sports