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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Detroit Tigers’ early MLB sensation Akil Baddoo won’t take no for an answer

Before the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5, Baddoo had not played a competitive baseball game since 2019, spent the 2020 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and had never played a game above High-A after the Twins selected him in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Sale High School in Conyers, Georgia.

Now presented the opportunity to make a big league roster in spring training, he channeled the energy from his childhood, the confidence that allowed him to play up with the bigger, older kids.

Within his first few games, Baddoo made sure he didn’t end up among the litany of forgotten Rule 5 picks.

“The Tigers saw something in me and I’m truly thankful for that,” he said. “What they saw in me is something I always had inside of me. I have this chip on my shoulder, and that’s the mentality that I had throughout the offseason and throughout the Rule 5. I was like, ‘Well, now I’m a big leaguer, so let’s prepare like a big leaguer and show everyone that you’re there to belong.’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2021 at 03:15 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: akil baddoo

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6014806)
I wish him the best but somebody needs to teach him some plate discipline -- 1 BB in 40 PA and 12 K in his last 19 PA. He is crushing it when he hits it though. None of that should be taken as a criticism -- only 22, as the intro says, hasn't played above A+, didn't play last year. The question now is whether the Tigers can afford to carry him on the ML roster the whole year without messing up his development or what will they have to give up to keep him in their system.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 21, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6014818)
Lots of energy, and the unusual name also helps him stand out from the crowd. Maybe the early success was just MLB pitchers assuming they could get a Class A hitter out with just a fastball. His overall stats are still good, but this week’s .200 OPS has to be somewhat concerning. The Tigers should be able to give him a long look - it’s always good to see someone make it at a young age.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 21, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6014856)
Lots of energy, and the unusual name also helps him stand out from the crowd. Maybe the early success was just MLB pitchers assuming they could get a Class A hitter out with just a fastball. His overall stats are still good, but this week’s .200 OPS has to be somewhat concerning. The Tigers should be able to give him a long look - it’s always good to see someone make it at a young age.

If he doesn't rapidly improve his plate discipline, MLB pitchers will carve him up.
   4. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 22, 2021 at 04:37 AM (#6014886)
I wish him the best but somebody needs to teach him some plate discipline -- 1 BB in 40 PA and 12 K in his last 19 PA.

Yeah, he really fell apart in the past week or so. I think he struck out 7 or 8 times in a row vs. Oakland.

However, in his brief time in the minors, plate discipline didn't appear to be a huge problem. In 1018 PA, most of them as a teenager, he walked 140 times -- 14% of his PA. (Just to compare someone in a similar environment, Byron Buxton had 160 walks in 1604 PA -- 10%. Mike Trout walked in 12% of his minor-league PAs.) Baddoo did strike out a lot (23% of his minor-league PAs), but perhaps that's not extraordinary in this era. In spring training he had 10 walks and 14 K in 50 PA.

So maybe he'll adjust? Hopefully.
   5. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 22, 2021 at 05:02 AM (#6014888)
The Tigers got J.D. Martinez for free; maybe this is a reprise? I like Baddoo's game even if he's still developing.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 22, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6014984)
#4: OK, maybe he needs to be reminded of the importance of plate discipline.

I recall back in the deep, dark, distant past (2005 maybe) that the nerds pointed out that minor-league walk rates didn't have much to do with ML walk rates. Some guys who rarely walked in the minors ended up walking a lot in the majors and vice versa. I don't know if that's still true but mainly a guy who's gonna be a good ML batter should be able to hit just about anything in the zone from a minor-league pitcher with authority. So something like Baddoo's 243/351/419 line at A-ball in 2018 (at the age of 19 which may be the most important factor) might be "great discipline" or might be "here's a guy who can't smash A ball pitching and has to be selective about what he swings at."
   7. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 23, 2021 at 11:41 AM (#6015061)
I wish him the best but somebody needs to teach him some plate discipline -- 1 BB in 40 PA and 12 K in his last 19 PA. He is crushing it when he hits it though. None of that should be taken as a criticism -- only 22, as the intro says, hasn't played above A+, didn't play last year. The question now is whether the Tigers can afford to carry him on the ML roster the whole year without messing up his development or what will they have to give up to keep him in their system.


The Tigers aren't going to be competing for anything this year so as long as he isn't completely ridiculous they should be able to carry him and let him play. I suppose at some point you gotta get him out of there but assuming he doesn't go 0 for 60 or something there's no reason he can't get 300-350 PA this year at the big league level. Tell him to hang out with Miguel Cabrera a lot and even if he spends next year at AAA he's still just 24 in 2023.

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