Detroit Tigers General Manager Al Avila, reveals his thoughts on two top prospects

There is no two ways around it. Detroit Tigers prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson are going to be imbedded in the middle of the Tigers lineup for years to come. Recently Tigers General Manager Al Avila, has spoken where he intends the two to continue developing. One is a surprise move and one is about where many figured he would play the 2021 season.

Riley Greene, he of a very sweet lefthanded swing appears to be headed to Double-A Erie to play with the Seawolves. Given the fact that the 2020 minor league season was wiped out due to COVID-19, this is an extraordinary move. Greene who was part of the Detroit Tigers taxi squad last season, had a heck of a season/extended training camp.

Greene is just 20 years old and has really climbed the minor leagues faster than anyone in the Tigers front office projected him to. He is a very good gap hitter which will lend itself well in the spacious Comerica Park outfield. Greene also has above average power and is very good defensively.

DETROIT, MI – JULY 04: Major League Baseballs number one draft pick Spencer Torkelson #73 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

As for Spencer Torkelson, he will start the 2021 season in Grand Rapids with the High-A  West Michigan Whitecaps. Torkelson has not played any minor league games as of yet. But he has all the tools to have a good showing in Grand Rapids.

Torkelson is projected to move quickly through the Detroit minor league system. While Riley Greene, has surpassed him as of this moment, there is good reason to believe they both could arrive in Detroit with the Tigers at some point in 2022.

The two prospects are expected and project as middle of the lineup hitters. Both do not chase balls out of the strike zone, both players are gap hitter with power. It should be noted gap hitters who hit to all fields.

DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 11: Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Al Avila on the field prior to the start of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on August 11, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Kansas City defeated Detroit 10-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Riley Green and Spencer Torkelson, are part of a future of Tigers baseball team that should be fun to watch.

Detroit Tigers top prospect Spencer Torkelson is as advertised

Breaking a long standing record at Arizona State that was held by Barry Bonds, put Spencer Torkelson on the map. Drafted this past year No.1 overall by the Detroit Tigers, Torkelson headed to summer camp and was and is working on transitioning from first base to third. Now as part of a group of players at the Tigers instructional league, Torkelson is proving his worth.

This fall at instructional league play for the Detroit Tigers, Spencer Torkelson is batting third in the lineup, fellow Tigers first round draft pick Riley Greene is batting in front of him. Tigers fans should get use to that rather nasty 1-2 punch.

It is easy for young prospects to get lost as they try to advance through the minor leagues. Spencer Torkelson has had a well rounded, mature adjustment to professional baseball. “Torkelson is as advertised,” vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said. “He works the count well. He’s got power. He can hit. We’re trying him out at third base. He’s an athletic guy, great makeup, ballplayer.”

On Monday during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Torkelson stepped to the plate and flashed exactly what Littlefield described. Hitting a 375 foot home run, after which  Torkelson said he did not get all of it.

DETROIT, MI – JULY 11: Riley Greene #31 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during the Detroit Tigers Summer Workouts at Comerica Park on July 11, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson have bonded. They have become fast friends. That is important because they project as future All-Stars. They also project to be part of a formidable part of the Tigers batter order for years to come.

Both Torkelson and Greene are described as being very humble, level headed players who love playing the game and want to get better every day. This is the fun part of watching and tracking prospects. To see players growth is encouraging, more so because two of the Tigers organization’s top prospects are on track.

The Detroit Tigers have signed all of the newest draft picks

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Tigers added to the organizations prospect pool by signing all 2020 draftees. It is nice to get the players signed and begin workouts for the 2020, 60 game season.

The Detroit Tigers won the 2020 draft by a landslide a couple weeks ago. The Tigers got the draft going by selecting Arizona State 1B Spencer Torkelson. Torkelson was widely viewed as the best player in the draft.

The Detroit Tigers announced the Torkelson signing late Tuesday afternoon.  Torkelson’s signing bonus was $8,416,300, according to’s Jim Callis, which counts as the largest signing bonus under the current draft format. The slot value for the No. 1 overall pick is $8,415,300 — Torkelson signed for $1,000 more.

Torkelson took to social media to confirm the deal. A picture of Spencer Torkelson in a Tigers uniform holding a bat was captioned with “It’s official… Go Tigers.”

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It’s official… Go @tigers

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The Detroit Tigers are set to open training camp 2.0 in Toledo at the home of the organizations Triple A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens. Unless something unforetold happens Torkelson will not be in the mix for a roster spot in Detroit this summer.

Instead, having Torkelson in the player pool will allow him to spend the season working out with other inactive players at the Tigers at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.

On the evening of the 2020 MLB draft he Detroit Tigers announced Torkelson as a third baseman. Getting the future Tiger signed on time was wise as Detroit works on getting Torkelson acclimated to third base following three seasons as Arizona State’s first baseman.

Scouts have praised Spencer Torkelson as being one of the most polished hitters they have  seen in the draft for quite some time, showing plus-plus power and excellent plate discipline.

The future looks a bit brighter these days in Detroit.

With the first pick in the MLB draft the Detroit Tigers have one option

Embed from Getty Images As players and owners try to hammer out a new collective bargin agreement and we wait for the delayed 2020 MLB season to start whatever it looks like, the 2020 MLB draft takes center stage tonight with the first round. The Detroit Tigers still bound by a rebuild have the first pick. There is one clear-cut player Tigers general manager Al Avila needs to add to the organization.

Arizona State 1B- Spencer Torkelson who is on a tier by himself. The Detroit  Tigers are said to have been zeroed in on Torkelson since the the start of this year’s draft process, it is no wonder after Spencer launched 48 home runs and showed an extremely advanced approach during his first two years at Arizona State.

By adding Torkelson’s power bat to a pitching rich farm system would go a long way for the Detroit Tigers the ongoing rebuild. The Tigers taking Torkelson is close to a slam dunk at this point.

Spencer Torkelson’s scouting numbers are impressive. With 60-HIT, 65-POWER, 50- ARM, 50- FIELD with a 40- RUN for an overall grade of 60.  Torkelson draws fair comparisons to Andrew Vaughn, the University Cal standout 1B who was the No. 3 pick in the 2019 Draft.

Torkelson has scouts drooling with the way he is able to drive the ball from foul pole to foul pole and Tork (a nickname his teammates gave him) uses the middle of the field when he is at his best. Spencer is able to hit the ball out to all fields, with tremendous  power to his pull side.

With a a 16.6% strikeout rate, on the surface does not seem bad. It actually is pretty high. And while because of COVID-19 Tork only had 82 plate appearances in the 2020 season, Spencer Torkelson struck out in 18.3% of his trips to the plate.

For all his power and ability to hit to all fields, the swing-and-miss is a bit of a concern, something the Detroit Tigers will need to help him clean up. That said Spencer Torkelson has to much upside to overlook. The fact he is above average in the field makes this an easy pick for the rebuilding Tigers.

Torkelson should not take much prep work in the minor leagues, that will help speed things up in Motown.