ASU Baseball: Spencer Torkelson is making history

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft /

ASU baseball has struggled in 2018, but the historic productivity of freshman Spencer Torkelson at the plate has made the Sun Devils more of a must watch in 2018

In what has been a very inconsistent season in 2018 for ASU baseball, one productive constant for the Sun Devils has been the day in and day out effectiveness of freshman slugger Spencer Torkelson.

Torkelson is not only far and away the team leader in home runs, the freshman leads Division-1 in long bombs with 20.

The freshman currently has two more home runs than California’s Andrew Vaughn who is second in the nation in home runs with 18.

The freshman’s success this year has been unprecedented in ASU history as it took Torkelson only 25 games to break Barry Bonds’ single-season freshman home run record.

The list of records that the freshman has accomplished already this season has been remarkable, but the current ASU baseball star was not always the most highly regarded recruit.

Coming out of high school the Petaluma, California native was ranked as the No. 37 overall recruit from his state and was outside of the top 100 recruits in the nation according to Perfect Game USA.

The freshman was a part of a talented top tier recruiting class at ASU, but although it may seem as if Torkelson was the headlining recruit in the class in reality at the time, he was not the greatest standout in ASU’s group of incoming freshman.

Fellow freshman infielder Drew Swift won preseason Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, infielder Gage Workman was the No. 3 ranked shortstop in the state of Arizona and infielder Alika Williams was named to the High School All-American first team.

It was certainly the impressive recruitment class for ASU as Baseball America pegged the Sun Devils recruiting class as the No. 4 class in the nation.

Although Torkelson never gained High School All American honors or was the winner of the Pac-12 Preseason Freshman of the Year, the freshman slugger still shattered the all-time ASU freshman home run record.

Torkelson heading into Wednesday afternoon’s showdown against New Mexico State has homered in 11 percent of his at bats in 2018 as the freshman is just eight long bombs away from breaking Mitch Jones’ school record of 27 home runs in a single season set in 2000.

On the diamond defensively, Torkelson certainly needs improvement with five errors on the season to go along with little experience at defending his position at first base, but the freshman infielder’s 1.175 OPS and .770 slugging percentage certainly make-up for it.

With 16 games left to play, Torkelson has the chance to accomplish the unthinkable and break ASU’s single season home run record as just a freshman.

Next: ASU Baseball: Sun Devils drop midweek contest to New Mexico State

The quest to become the Sun Devils single season homerun king has already begun, but regardless of his home run total at the end of the season, the ASU freshman will still have a 2018 season to remember.