Report: Tigers’ No. 1 pick Spencer Torkelson expected to sign next week, join taxi squad

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers waited months to draft Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft. Now the former Arizona State star is reportedly just days away from signing his first contract and he could land a surprising role right out of the gate.

No. 1 pick Spencer Torkelson expected to sign next week, join Detroit Tigers’ taxi quad

Spencer Torkelson cemented his status as the top prospect in the 2020 MLB Draft nearly a year ago. After hitting 54 home runs with a 1.192 OPS across 129 games at Arizona State, the Detroit Tigers snagged him with the top pick.

While there won’t be a MiLB season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Torkelson could still have the opportunity to make an impact right out of the gate.

According to SunDevilSource’s Jacob Rudner, Torkelson will be in Detroit on Monday and will likely sign his first professional contract before the week is over. Once he signs on the dotted line, he could join the team for spring training on July 1.

The 2020 MLB season begins on July 23, the start of a 60-game season thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to provide teams with more depth and allow top prospects an opportunity to practice with the MiLB season canceled, MLB created a taxi squad.

Each organization will have a 20-man taxi squad that can train with the team and be ready to step in when replacement players are needed. For the Tigers and many other clubs, it’s the perfect opportunity to give some of their future stars a chance to work with coaches and get in reps.

While it’s not a guarantee that Torkelson will make his MLB debut this season, it’s far likelier given the Tigers are rebuilding. We might just see the No. 1 pick from this year’s draft make his MLB debut this season, an incredible rarity in a sport where players take years to develop.