Torkelson is set to play "a lot of third base" according to his manager at High-A West Michigan, Patrick Nothaft of MLive.com reports. Torkelson primarily played first base during his college career at Arizona State, but the Tigers got him some time at third during spring training, and now it looks like that's the plan for him in the minors. The 2020 No. 1 overall pick will largely be judged by his bat during his professional career, but he'll of course need to hold his own defensively as well. If Torkelson shows some ability at both corner infield spots, it could ultimately help him advance to the majors sooner, though he's still most likely to debut in 2022.
Tigers general manager Al Avila said Tuesday that Torkelson will likely open the season at High-A West Michigan, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 first-year player draft still has yet to make his professional regular-season debut, but he was able to get some work in at the Tigers' big-league camp this spring. The early returns weren't impressive -- he went 1-for-26 with 16 strikeouts in Grapefruit League play -- but dynasty managers shouldn't fret too much about the 21-year-old's long-term outlook. Torkelson is still viewed as an impact power hitter who should provide a high batting average to go along with his slugging production.
Torkelson was reassigned to minor-league camp Saturday. Torkelson saw plenty of playing time this spring while working with the major-league coaching staff but went just 1-for-20 with one run, three walks and 12 strikeouts during Grapefruit League games. The Tigers' top prospect will now join the team's minor-league camp before he likely begins the season at High-A West Michigan.
Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said Torkelson will continue to play regularly in Grapefruit League games despite his struggles at the plate, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. Torkelson, the No. 1 pick of the 2020 draft, is 0-for-15 this spring with nine strikeouts. "We're gonna keep rolling him out there and getting him some experience," Hinch said. "He wants to make a big impression, and it feels like it's piling up on him, but we still think he's a pretty good player." Torkelson could begin the season at High-A West Michigan, and he has the talent and pedigree to turn things around in a hurry and start piling up hits.
Torkelson went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. Through seven games this spring, Torkelson is 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts. There will be better days ahead for the uber-talented 21-year-old, but he clearly needs a little seasoning in the minors. Torkelson could begin the season at High-A West Michigan and potentially move up the ladder fairly quickly if he performs well.