Former MLB GM Jim Bowden Sees Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera in Top Tigers Prospect

The Detroit Tigers’ top prospect Dominic Guzman has yet to make his MLB debut and Miguel Cabrera is nearing the end of a historic career. The team’s farm system could use some help, but they shouldn’t expect all-star caliber talent anytime soon.

The “riley greene spring training stats” is a player that has been in the MLB for about 10 years. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and is now considered one of their top prospects.

Former MLB GM Jim Bowden Sees Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera in Top Tigers Prospect

The Spencer Torkelson era has begun for the Detroit Tigers, regardless of service time.

The Tigers said Torkelson, a 22-year-old infield prospect, will start the 2022 season with the big-league club, less than two years after he was selected first overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. Rather than staying in the minors to give the four-time World Series winners an additional year of club control, the Arizona State prospect is slated to start the season at first base and bat in the middle of the order.

Bowden, Jim, a veteran baseball executive and media member, isn’t concealing his admiration for Torkelson as his MLB debut approaches.

Spencer Torkelson, a notable Tigers prospect, has been likened to Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera by former MLB GM Bowden, Jim.

Detroit Tigers prospect Spencer Torkelson in 2021.

Detroit Tigers prospect Spencer Torkelson in 2021. Bowden, Jim, a former MLB general manager, has high expectations for Detroit Tigers prospect Spencer Torkelson | Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Bowden selected Adam Dunn, Joey Votto, and Ryan Zimmerman during his career as a general manager with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. Without a doubt, the 60-year-old recognizes fresh potential when he sees it.

Bowden now has high hopes for Torkelson, who hit.267 with 30 home runs and 91 RBI in three minor-league clubs last season.

Bowden identified the guys he anticipates to have breakthrough seasons this season in a recent column for The Athletic. He said it was too tough to pass up placing Torkelson and Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. on his breakthrough list, even though he doesn’t usually include rookies.

“Torkelson has above-average intellect and reflexes. His power bat is unique; when I first saw it, it reminded me of Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. Torkelson, I feel, will one day lead the AL in home runs and RBIs.”

Bowden, Jim

Perhaps calling Torkelson a “breakout candidate” is an understatement, particularly when he’s mentioning two future Hall of Famers in the same phrase.

Bowden is putting a lot of pressure on Torkelson as he prepares to make his MLB debut.

Bowden was the Reds’ general manager from 1992 to 2003 and the same job in Washington from 2004 to 2009, allowing him to see a lot of Cabrera and Pujols. Cabrera debuted in the major leagues in April 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds’ NL Central rivals, and made his MLB debut two years later. Bowden undoubtedly understood his pitchers would have to deal with Cabrera, the Florida Marlins’ outstanding left fielder, approximately 20 times each season when he arrived in Washington soon before the team’s debut season.

If Torkelson continues to hit as those two did in their rookie seasons, the 21-year-old may be named AL Rookie of the Year in a matter of months.

As a 21-year-old rookie in 2001, Pujols hit.329 with 37 home runs, 130 RBI, and 47 doubles. He won the NL Rookie of the Year award, as well as a Silver Slugger, a trip to his first All-Star Game, and a fourth-place finish in the NL MVP vote. That should suffice, and it did.

Cabrera, who debuted in the middle of the 2003 season, hit.268 with 12 home runs, 62 RBI, and 21 doubles in 87 regular-season games. In the National League Championship Series, he hit three home runs, and in the World Series, he blasted another home run against New York Yankees star Roger Clemens. It’s fair to say everything worked out for the Marlins, who won the Fall Classic in six games.

Cabrera is now the wise old man on a Tigers club that might soon be Torkelson’s. It’s almost poetic….

As a rookie, what should Tigers fans reasonably expect from Torkelson?

Torkelson seems to be a guy who, in a few years, might be hitting 30 home runs and reaching base at a really consistent rate. Before the coronavirus pandemic terminated the 2020 season prematurely, he had a.463 on-base percentage in three seasons at Arizona State and had drawn 31 walks in 17 games. During the 2021 season, Torkelson posted a.383 on-base percentage and displayed outstanding patience at the bat.

All of these things point to a bright future for him in the big leagues, particularly given the current strikeout-heavy environment.

Let’s concentrate on what will happen in Torkelson’s rookie year before we start talking about him as a 30-homer, 110-RBI guy. Don’t be fooled by Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso’s spectacular rookie seasons into believing that the Tigers’ top prospect has to hit at least 30 home runs to have a successful first season. He’ll be in contention for Rookie of the Year if he hits.270 with 20 home runs, 70 RBI, and a.310 on-base percentage.

Will those figures be enough to get the Tigers into the postseason for the first time since 2014? If Torkelson lives up to Bowden’s expectations, a championship parade in Detroit might be on the horizon in the next several years.

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