Akil Baddoo

From BR Bullpen

Akil Neomon Baddoo

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Biographical Information[edit]

The Minnesota Twins selected OF Akil Baddoo in the 2nd round of the 2016 amateur draft from a high school in Georgia. He played four seasons in their minor league system, his last one, in 2019 with the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League being cut short to just 29 games of hitting .214 because he underwent Tommy John surgery. He was then forced into inactivity by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and because of his lack of advancement to that point, the Twins did not add him to their 40-man roster following the season, in spite of his high draft status and athleticism. He was thus left exposed in the 2020 Rule V Draft and the Detroit Tigers pounced on him with the third selection of the draft.

He impressed everyone in spring training in 2021 by earning his way onto the Opening Day roster not because the Tigers were prepared to carry him in hopes of future returns, but because he lit up opposing pitchers with a .325 average and 5 homers, for a slugging percentage of .750. Still, the Tigers wanted to handle him carefully, so he did not get to play until the team's third game of the season, but he lost no time in showing his ability was real, as he belted the first pitch he saw from Aaron Civale of the Cleveland Indians into the Tigers' bullpen at Comerica Park for a home run. He was only the second player in Tigers history to homer on the first major league pitch he had seen, following George Vico in 1948. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, he then connected for a grand slam the following day, in a loss to the Minnesota Twins. Figuring being in the limelight was a good thing, he added a walk-off game-winning single on April 6th, also against the Twins, and then a triple on April 7th, while also throwing out a runner on the bases.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jason Beck: "Baddoo HRs in 1st MLB AB ... on the 1st pitch", mlb.com, April 5, 2021. [1]
  • Jason Beck: "It's Akil Baddoo's show, and we're watching", mlb.com, April 7, 2021. [2]

Related Sites[edit]