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Akil Baddoo Has Shown Promise in the Wake of Struggles

Akil Baddoo was selected in the second round of the MLB draft to the Minnesota Twins. Baddoo was assigned to rookie ball in his first two seasons and performed above average for his age and experience. In 2019 , Baddoo played 29 games before requiring Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. There is not much to speak of for Baddoo in the Twins organization, just the fact that they gave up on him and was an after thought.

Akil Baddoo is an interesting player that can play any outfield position with good readability of the field. That with his above average speed, he makes for a good defender for this roster. Baddoo who is only 22 years old, has the ability to drive up his walk percentage due to his power. He is young and can harness that Major League bat at times.

A home in Detroit

Baddoo was selected third to the Detroit Tigers, in the Rule 5 Draft. Akil was selected in the Rule 5 Draft because Minnesota had too many young players on their roster. He played in spring training and impressed AJ Hinch enough to be called up to the Opening Day roster.

Apr 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) points up into the crowd after hitting a grand slam during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In Akil’s first pitch seen, he hit a monster home run. The very next day he hit a grand slam in exciting fashion. In his third career MLB game he hit a walk-off hit scoring a run to win the game in the 10th inning. This was an incredible week for the rookie and fans were hopping on board to support the 22-year old.

Rookie struggles

The coming out party for Akil Baddoo was short lived and he struggled from mid April through May. In that stretch Baddoo had 100 plate appearances with only 14 hits, posting a abysmal .140 batting average. Baddoo struggled with strikeouts and that was his weakness through that stretch of games.

Apr 27, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) loses the grip on his bat during a swing against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Baddoo overcame his struggles and as of June 21st, he has 11 hits in his last 14 games with 5 homeruns and 20 RBIs. The Tigers managers have been committed to helping Baddoo with his swing. He has been a lot better going deeper in counts and drawing walks. He has brought down the strikeouts and looks like a completely new hitter. Baddoo has brought his batting average up to .272 with a OBP of .367.

This is one of the most impressive turnarounds from a rookie that I have seen. The pop and the speed is the most impressive attributes I have seen from this kid, along with the ability to read the strike zone at such a young age. The MLB can be a hard place to develop and it looks like the Tigers organization has set Akil Baddoo on the right track and for years to come.

Check out Alex Mayer on The Short Report breaking down Akil Baddoo and everything he has to offer for the Tigers roster.

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