MLB News: AJ Hinch Discusses Spencer Torkelson's Slump

Spencer Torkelson
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Ernesto Cova

The Detroit Tigers hoped their price rookie Spencer Torkelson would make a big impact in his first full MLB season. Miguel Cabrera mentored him, the press was all over him, and he looked poised to have a breakout campaign.

Thus far, he's hitting .149 and has missed on several potential big swings. Moreover, his frustration has been more than evident, even breaking a bat after failing to connect on a slider from Adrian Martinez.

Hinch Lauds Torkelson's Attitude

A.J. Hinch
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But even though Torkelson has been underwhelming thus far, manager A.J. Hinch isn't blaming him for the team's dormant offense. On the contrary, he lauded his attitude and defense:

“It’s tough,” Hinch told the media. “It’s all individual-based. Right now we feel like he’s still being competitive, he’s helping us on defense, his attitude has been good, his reactions have been good. Yesterday he showed a little bit of frustration. I’m actually fine with that. If it’s not coming out at some point, it could boil a little bit.”

He's Too Hard On Himself

Detroit Tigers hat
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Torkelson has been way too demanding and too much of a perfectionist. Per Hinch, that's the recipe for a big-time slump for a young player:

“I think the hardest thing is getting him to realize he doesn’t have to be perfect, he doesn’t have to do everything, he doesn’t have to cover every pitch,” Hinch added.

Torkelson Must Be Patient, Says Hinch

Spencer Torkelson
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Torkelson needs to be more selective and patient on the plate if he wants to get out of the slump. Once he gets a couple of solid at-bats, the game will come back to him:

"His swing decisions are still pretty good," Hinch added. "He’s not chasing a ton. If anything, he’s trying to hit everything. That, as a young player, is a recipe for struggles. If you’re trying to hit everything and you’re not hitting anything consistently, that’s a bad combo.”

He Knows He's Better Than This

Spencer Torkelson
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Torkelson has been far from satisfied with his performances but won't let this tough start to his MLB career define him as a player:

“I try my best to not dig too deep into it,” Torkelson said. “I think realizing that I’m still human regardless of baseball. I’m still a human being. What I do on the baseball field won’t define me as a person.”

He's still young and has the physical traits to become an impressive slugger, so hopefully, he'll turn things around soon.