Detroit Tigers: Akil Baddoo is in the race for AL Rookie of the Year

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers are seeing one of their outfielders enter himself into the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year race. Akil Baddoo is having one heck of a season in 2021 and it’s been one amazing ride for the young fella.

Now, let me be clear. I’m not saying he is undoubtedly going to win the award, but he is definitely putting himself into the race without question. The Detroit Tigers scooped up Akil Baddoo in the Rule 5 Draft this past winter and since then he has vaulted himself to one heck of a spot.

Baddoo had never played anything more than High-A ball in his minor league career with the Minnesota Twins. He had never seen the upper levels of the Twins farm system, not to mention battling through some adversity of an injury as well.

That being said, Baddoo’s path to the big leagues was not smooth, but the jump from High-A to the MLB needs to be talked about more. With how well Baddoo is performing given his situation, there needs to be more recognition for the 22-year-old.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo has entered himself into the conversation for AL Rookie of the Year.

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In 2021, Baddoo has logged 56 games out of the Tigers’ 74 games on the season. Baddoo has 151 at-bats on the season where he is slashing .272/.367/.490 for the organization with five home runs and 21 RBI.

He leads the league in totals with four triples as well and has collected a total of 19 extra-base hits on the season.

He’s swiped eight bags in total on the season. The Tigers did a great job with the selection of Baddoo and it has paid dividends.

Early on in the season, Baddoo’s hype train was immaculate, people thought he was the second coming of Barry Bonds with his hot start.

Water finds its level, but for Baddoo, he is still showing some exceptional stuff at the plate for the Tigers.

While he may not be mashing the baseball out of the yard like Houston Astros rookie Yordan Álvarez did in 2019 when he took home the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year honors. Álvarez did that while slashing .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI on the season in nearly double the at-bats that Baddoo has right now.

Fans know the team is rebuilding, Baddoo is not going to have a lot of opportunities to collect RBI. But if he continues to hit like he is and get on-base, then there is no question that he will not find himself in the conversation.

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All aboard the Akil Baddoo hype train once again…