TEMPE, Ariz. — The Detroit Tigers selected Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft on Wednesday.
Torkelson, widely expected to be selected by Detroit, becomes the fourth Sun Devil to be selected first overall and the first since Bob Horner in 1978. Vanderbilt is the only other school with multiple No. 1 overall picks (2).
While Torkelson played first base at ASU, he was announced as a third baseman when selected.
Torkelson hit 54 home runs in 129 games at Arizona State. He was just two homers shy of tying the school's record for most-career homers (Horner, 56), when the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellation of the remainder of the season.
We saw Torkelson smash Barry Bonds' freshman home run record at ASU (11) when he hit 25 in 2018. He followed that up with 23 homers in his sophomore season in 57 games and through 17 games in his junior season cut short, he had hit six home runs.
For ASU, it's the second-straight year a player has been a top-10 selection in the MLB Draft after the San Francisco Giants drafted Hunter Bishop with the 10th pick.
Torkelson told 12 News in April it was hard to come to grips with the fact that his junior season and likely his career at ASU was ended prematurely, but he was looking forward to being draft.
“It gives you goosebumps just to think about being drafted," Torkelson told 12 News in April. "Being drafted in the first place is an accomplishment, but to be in the conversation at the very top is very humbling."
In addition to his 54 career home runs in 129 career games at ASU, he also batted in 130 runs with a .337 batting average and a .729 slugging percentage.
Torkelson joins a Detroit Tigers organization coming off it's second-worst season in franchise history. The Tigers haven't been to the playoffs since 2015.