Akil Baddoo has rightfully been the talk of the early Detroit Tigers season. His first few games will remain legendary, and him dominating despite never playing above High-A made it all the more compelling.
A slump was always going to come for Akil Baddoo, because slumps come for everyone in baseball. Fans would do well to remind themselves it’s a minor miracle Akil Baddoo is in the big leagues at all this year.
But it is worth discussing the nature of this particular slump. Akil Baddoo is now hitless in his last ten at-bats, with eight strikeouts. He has struck out in six consecutive plate appearances.
Is the bloom already off the Akil Baddoo rose? Have opposing pitchers figured out his weaknesses? There’s only one way to find out…let’s go to the tape.
Akil Baddoo Strikeout One
Good afternoon, good evening, and good night. Astros pitcher Brandon Bielak gave Baddoo three different pitches, each with different movement profiles and velocities. This sequence would strike out a lot of hitters. He misses the target with his 4-seamer, and it heads down and in, a traditional happy spot for left-handed hitters. But it seems to dive at the last second and Baddoo swings over top of it. They go low again, but this time with a changeup. It’s 5 MPH slower than the fastball, moving in the opposite direction, and perfectly located. Finally, they change the eye level with a nasty cutter that dances across the zone toward Baddoo’s hands. It’s hard to fault the kid for this AB.