Detroit Tigers: Early projections on Akil Baddoo seem overzealous

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers are welcoming back outfielder Akil Baddoo back after his incredible performance from the 2021 season. The former Rule 5 Draftee was stolen from the Minnesota Twins and put together a quality performance.

Projections for the Detroit Tigers players for the 2022 season have been released from multiple outlets. Baddoo’s projections got a little overzealous and seemed a touch high. It’s hard to say that Baddoo will outperform long-standing starters across the league, but who knows; stranger things have happened.

After a 2021 season where he had 124 games played, he slashed .259/.330/.436 for the Tigers, where he had 20 doubles, seven triples, 13 home runs, and 55 RBI in his first time cracking the big leagues. It was quite the jump from Single-A to the big leagues, but Baddoo showed out.

However, I have a hard time imagining he can come out and be a true breakout stud in 2022. Though, for the Tigers’ sake, I hope I’m wrong. At the end of the day, what do I know? I’m just a kid writing down what I think. The opinion stands, and I genuinely hope Baddoo proves me wrong, but the projections seem a bit much for the 23-year-old outfielder.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo’s projections are a tad high.

Two of the outlets I personally frequent for stats and also stories/other baseball content have released projections that seem a bit above the mark. Baseball-Reference’s projections for Badoo have him slashing .260/.334/.438 with 19 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, and 52 RBI over 431 at-bats.

I’ll keep saying it. I hope he proves me wrong, but I have a hard time believing that Baddoo will be able to sustain what he did in 2021. It was an incredible showing and, at times, was even better than the stats he finished with.

The other outlet that’s projections I questioned was on Fangraphs; the ZiPS projections have Baddoo slated for 132 games and 495 at-bats for the Tigers. He’s projected to slash .264/.335/.351 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 15 home runs, and 60 RBI on the season.

I want to make it clear, I do not think Baddoo is going to falter into a level of Victor Reyes-like play, but I think Baddoo’s 2022 season may not live up to the hype. Baddoo will bring value for the Tigers and should be able to produce in 2022.

If I had to levy a projection, I would predict he’s going to be a .250 or lower hitter in terms of average, and I do not think the power will be as plentiful as it was in 2021 or as it was in the projections. Even if he holds his ground and performs as he did last season, the Tigers should take it as a victory.

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The 2021 season was a great showing for Baddoo, and it will be tough to do it again in 2022.