Inside the Article:
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.
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.
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.