Spencer Torkelson selected first overall in 2020 MLB Draft by Detroit Tigers

The first baseman is the fourth Sun Devil selected first overall in draft history

Former ASU first baseman Spencer Torkelson was selected with the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers Wednesday afternoon.

Torkelson joins Floyd Bannister, Rick Monday and Bob Horner as the fourth player in ASU history to be taken first overall. 

"I think the physical tools are obviously glaring and easy to see because those are better than everyone else too, but I think what you can't see and what we see as coaches and I luckily get to see every day is how he approaches the game mentally," ASU hitting coach Michael Earley said in an interview with The State Press. "Those mental skills are just glaring and exceptional and rare. If you have either one of those, you can be a great player. If you have both, I think that’s how you become, what I’d call him, a one-percenter, or a generational talent.”

Torkelson, who was announced as a third baseman, hit 54 home runs in his Sun Devil career, just two shy of tying the all-time program record held by Horner. He also walked 31 times in just 17 games in the abbreviated 2020 season and touted a .598 on base percentage in his junior campaign. 

Torkelson committed just one error in 2020, finishing his career with a .987 fielding percentage.

"Everybody thinks about the power first, (but) its not just the power (for Torkelson)," MLB Pipeline senior writer Jim Callis said in an interview with The State Press. "It’s the hitting ability. It’s the plate discipline. I’ve had guys tell me he's the most advanced draft hitter they’ve ever seen."

Torkelson is the first number one overall selection by the Detroit Tigers since 2018 when they selected right-handed pitcher Casey Mize from Auburn University.

Reach the reporter at ancoil@asu.edu and follow  @anc2018 on Twitter.

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