Are Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson good enough for Detroit Tigers to build around?

Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene are both ultra talented, but are the foundational players for the Detroit Tigers?

Are Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson good enough for the Detroit Tigers to build around? That is a question that ESPN's David Schoenfield tried to answer while handing out his first-half grades for all 30 MLB teams.

Detroit Tigers Odds Beer Girl Joey Wentz Tyler Holton Luis Santana Tim Naughton Rich Hill Joe Rizzo Miami Marlins Blair Calvo Detroit Tigers Top Prospects Tyler Nevin Riley Greene Spencer Torkelson

Are Greene and Torkelson good enough for Detroit Tigers to build around?

Here is a bullet-point summary of what Schoenfield had to say in response to that question:

  • Torkelson and Greene, former top picks, debuted last season with mixed reviews.
  • Torkelson struggled and even went back to the minors at one point.
  • Torkelson's current 98 OPS+ as a first baseman is not satisfactory.
  • Torkelson's hard-hit rate, average exit velocity, and barrel rate have improved from last season and are above MLB average.
  • Torkelson controls the strike zone well but hasn't translated it into big numbers yet.
  • Torkelson has struggled at Comerica Park, with most of his home runs coming on the road.
  • Torkelson has difficulty hitting pitches on the outside half of the zone.
  • Greene, on the other hand, has looked more like the top prospect he was in 2022.
  • Greene performed well in May before landing on the injured list with a stress fracture.
  • Greene returned just before the All-Star break with solid overall numbers.
  • Greene's strikeout rate is still high, and he has relied on an unsustainable BABIP to hit .300.
  • Greene has raw power but a low launch angle, limiting his ability to hit home runs.
  • Both Torkelson and Greene have a lot of room for improvement.
  • It's premature to label them as foundation-type players, but they are young and have potential.
Riley Greene Detoit Tigers Spencer Torkelson

Bottom Line: Too Early to Tell

There is no question about it that both Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson have a ton of talent. That being said, there have been plenty of prospects who have been ultra-talented but did not pan out at the MLB level. I believe that Greene is a foundational player for the Tigers, but I am not yet sold on Torkelson.