Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo struggles do not hold much weight

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

The Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo was scooped up in the Rule 5 Draft ahead of the 2021 season from the Minnesota Twins organization. He was stationed with the team’s High-A affiliate at the very highest.

In 2021, the Detroit Tigers opted to give him a chance, and he ran with it. After bursting onto the scene and looking like the team’s future left fielder, his 2022 season has started much differently.

It was a bit of a cinderella story in 2021, with Baddoo coming up clutch in the big moments, making the Tigers look like geniuses for grabbing him and promoting him from High-A to the big leagues with their selection in the Rule 5 Draft.

His 2022 season has tasked Baddoo with some real adversity, something that many did not think was coming. But the sophomore slump is real, and the book comes out on guys, especially players who had never appeared in games above High-A.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo will be just fine.

In 2022, Baddoo has played in 11 games for the Tigers, accumulating 37 plate appearances. He’s slashing .118/.189/.235 with six total hits.  He has only been punched out nine times.

There’s some concern with his performance, but I really do think that Baddoo will be fine in due time. It’s an early-season slump but can easily be canceled out throughout a season where he logs 400+ at-bats.

Even with a tough start, changes can be made to get him back on track. Quite frankly, he looks out of sorts in the batter’s box and is struggling to barrel the baseball. It’s stuff that can be fixed, adjustments can be made, and Baddoo can get back on track.

I will confess that I was on the Baddoo hype train last season, but I also feel like I should have grounded myself a little bit more. I think Baddoo will be a serviceable option for the team in left-field, but I am not sure I buy into the idea that he’s going to be the anchor and answer for this team. That’s going to be Riley Greene. 

But Baddoo will undoubtedly improve. Water always finds its level, and Baddoo will be able to get back on track and be the hitter the Tigers saw him last season. Coming off a season where he slashed .259/.330/.436 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI over 461 plate appearances, there’s hope.

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I like Baddoo’s odds to snap out of this funk. While there is reason to be concerned, as fans, let’s try to stay focused on the idea that he will make the necessary adjustments and get back to a performance level that is expected of him. After all, that’s what makes him a big leaguer, right?