After being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Gage Workman was asked on a conference call Friday about ASU baseball’s potential in the coronavirus-shortened season.
With No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson – also to the Tigers – headlining a record group of five Sun Devils drafted in the first five rounds, ASU was a favorite to reach the College World Series.
“It makes me a little bit sad to think that we probably could have done some damage in Omaha this year,” Workman said. “We probably could’ve had a shot for a national championship, but we’ll never know now.”
In 17 games this season, ASU went 13-4. Workman hit .250 due to a slow start to the season, but over the final eight games hit .324 with nine RBIs and a pair of home runs, both of which were in the final game of the season against Fresno State.
Overall, four of the everyday starters hit above .300, two of which — Torkelson and Trevor Hauver – were drafted.
R.J. Dabovich, who had a 0.77 ERA and four saves in nine appearances, was drafted in the fifth round. Shortstop Alika Williams, the second Sun Devil off the board, was taken in the competitive balance round.
“I think the standard at ASU is they’re only taking the best players around the country,” Workman said. “The way they recruit and the way they develop players, it says a lot about the coaching staff.”
After winning only 23 games in Workman’s freshman 2018 season, ASU baseball jumped to a 38-19 record in 2019 and made it to the College World Series, where they were upset in the Regionals.
It looked like the Sun Devils would have a chance to make up for that early defeat in 2020, but the season was canceled due to the coronavirus.
“If I’m a top player around the country, I don’t think there’s a place I’d rather be than Arizona State, so it says a lot about the school and the history,” Workman said.
Now in Detroit, Workman will compete against Torkelson at third base. Though Torkelson played first base at ASU, he was announced by the Tigers at the hot corner.
“We’re good buddies, I feel like we will work well together,” Workman said. “We’ll make each other better just like we’ve done the last three years at Arizona State.”
Workman said he’s signing “for sure” with the Tigers, closing the door on any chance he would return to ASU for his senior year.