Scott Harris says Spencer Torkelson has gotten unlucky so far in 2023

Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris believes the underlying numbers will catch up for Spencer Torkelson.

Detroit Tigers‘ president of baseball operations, Scott Harris, recently discussed the challenging luck Spencer Torkelson has faced at the plate this season during an appearance on the Stoney & Jansen Show on 97.1 The Ticket. Harris acknowledged that despite Torkelson's positive underlying performance, he has fallen victim to a string of unfortunate outcomes.

Spencer Torkelson Detroit Tigers Scott Harris

Harris says Spencer Torkelson has gotten unlucky so far in 2023

Harris noted that Torkelson has been hitting the ball hard, making contact with the right pitches, but has often found himself on the wrong side of luck.

“A lot of the underlying stuff is positive, as you alluded to,” said Harris. “He’s hitting the ball really hard, he's swinging at the right pitches. I think he’s hit into a lot of bad luck. I know Tiger fans don’t like to hear that, but there’s only so much you can control at the plate as a hitter, and that is swinging at the right pitches and doing damage on those pitches. If you look at his first half, he's hit a lot of hard-hit balls right at the center fielder and a lot of balls to the pull side that have just died at the track.”

“We’re going to focus on his process at the plate and making sure that he knows what the pitcher is trying to do to him and that he’s accessing his power as often as he can,” Harris said. “There’s no easy solution for when it’s ultimately going to translate into performance, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

“If he had the same top-line performance but he wasn’t really hitting the ball hard, he was pounding the ball into the ground, he was swinging at the wrong pitches, I wouldn’t be as confident that the top line is ultimately going to catch up to the underlying stuff.”

Key Points

  • Harris acknowledges the unfortunate luck Torkelson has faced during the 2023 season.
  • Despite positive underlying performance, Torkelson has been hitting the ball hard but has encountered numerous instances of bad luck.
  • Many hard-hit balls have been caught by the center fielder, while others hit to the pull side have fallen short of home runs.
  • Torkelson's struggles are not due to excessive ground balls or expanding the strike zone, as his ground ball rate and chase rate are both below the league average.
  • Although there is no immediate solution, Harris is confident that Torkelson's top-line performance will eventually align with his strong underlying performance.
  • Once Torkelson's luck changes, his production is expected to improve significantly.
Scott Harris Detroit Tigers Spencer Torkelson

Bottom Line – A Turn of Luck Awaits Torkelson

Scott Harris' acknowledgment of Spencer Torkelson's unlucky streak sheds light on the hidden story behind the player's struggles. Despite Torkelson hitting the ball hard and making contact with the right pitches, unfavorable outcomes have impacted his overall performance. The Tigers' focus on Torkelson's approach at the plate and understanding the opposing pitcher's strategy reflects their belief in his ability to rebound. As Torkelson's luck eventually turns in his favor, his strong underlying performance will translate into improved top-line results, reaffirming his potential as a key contributor to the Tigers' success.


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