Torkelson (MLB’s general prospect No. 4 / Tigers No. 1) will join the Salt River Rafters along with 2018 Sun Devil cartoonist Reagan Todd (Rockies). There, he will be joined by former Sun Devil coach Ken Knutson, who will serve in the same role. The Scottsdale Scorpions will feature Hunter Bishop (Giants’ No. 6 prospect) and the fourth round of the 2020 RJ Dabovich (Giants).
Torkelson took MiLB by storm with his electric power this season, launching 30 home runs over 121 games across High-A (5 homers in 31 games), Double-A (14 homers in 50 games) and Triple-A (11 homers in 40 matches). He finished his first professional season with a slash of .267 / .383 / .552 with 91 RBI, 29 doubles, two triples and 77 trips.
Torkelson became only the 16th tiger farm player in history to record 30 homers and the first to do so in his first professional season.
RJ Dabovich was electric in his first professional season, appearing in 31 games across High- and Double-A. The rookie struck out 62 in just 32.1 innings, finishing with 2.78 ERAs and 10 saves. Opponents hit just .133 against him while Dabovich registered a 0.87 whip in the process, going just 13 to his 62 Ks.
Reagan Todd spent most of the season with the Hartford Yard Goats (39 games) before calling the Rockies’ Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes (10 games) late in the season. Todd finished with a 4.32 ERA over 51.2 innings, working mainly in relief between late and late. He hit 69 to 23 trips, recorded six saves and a 5-2 record.
Bishop struggled with injuries in much of the campaign in 2021, appearing in just 16 games.
The regular AFL season of 90 games opens on Wednesday 13 October. The league’s annual Fall Stars Game is played on Saturday, November 13, while the AFL Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday, November 20, both of which will be broadcast LIVE from 6 p.m. 19.00 ET / 17.00 MT on MLB Network as well as streaming on MLB.com and in the MLB app. The league returns for its 29th season to help accelerate the development of players, managers, coaches and referees after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AFL consists of six teams – the Glendale Desert Dogs, Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Javelinas, Salt River Rafters, Scottsdale Scorpions and Surprise Saguaros – divided into East (Mesa, Salt River, Scottsdale) and West (Glendale, Peoria, Surprise) divisions. The six clubs each play 30 games at Spring Training ballparks, including Camelback Ranch in Glendale (Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox), Sloan Park Mesa (Chicago Cubs), Peoria Sports Complex (Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres), Salt River Stadium at Talking Stick (Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies), Scottsdale Stadium (San Francisco Giants) and Surprise Stadium (Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals).
Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League list, with the league having 321 All-Stars, 21 MVPs, six Cy Young Award winners, eight World Series MVPs, 103 Silver Sluggers, 96 Gold Gloves and 32 Rookies of the Year.
Each Major League team will send seven top chances to fill the ranks of the six teams. The AFL teams and their MLB affiliates will be as follows for the 2021 season: Glendale (Angels, Astros, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox), Mesa (Athletics, Blue Jays, Cubs, Marlins, Orioles), Peoria (Braves, Mariners , Padres, Phillies, Pirates), Salt River (Brewers, Diamondbacks, Mets, Rockies, Tigers), Scottsdale (Giants, Indians, Rays, Red Sox, Twins) and Surprise (Nationals, Reds, Rangers, Royals, Yankees).