The Detroit Tigers Need an Outfield Reboot

The Comerica Park scoreboard in the middle of the sixth inning of Verlander's start on June 14, 2011. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The Comerica Park scoreboard in the middle of the sixth inning of Verlander's start on June 14, 2011. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo looks on from the dugout during the 4-0 loss to the Royals on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Comerica Park.Tigers Kc3 /

Akil Baddoo:

Akil Baddoo burst on the scene and created a spark and energy that has sorely lacked since he has cooled off from his hot start. Baddoo is currently at .241/.262/.621 slash line with the last 10 games being .143/.167/.343 after starting at an otherworldly .391/.400/1.043 in his first 8 games. We knew the inevitable cool-off would come but it’s time to face reality. Baddoo has a ton of raw skills but as suspected he is going to be severely overmatched at the major league level and AJ Hinch will need to ride the line of giving him enough at-bats to help his development but to limit his exposure so that his level of play and confidence both don’t end up in the dumpster. With a Strikeout rate now at 42.6% and a walk rate of just 3.3%, he is now quickly resembling a player who only had 29 games at the High A level in 2019 and didn’t play a game in 2020. Still, the skill set is impressive and the upside is apparent.

The Solution:

Being a Rule V selection and having displayed plus potential in all aspects of the game at various points, Akil Baddoo is a keeper at just 22 years of age to see how much he can further develop. He should be used a game or 2 a week as the 4th outfielder, for now, likely followed by some AAA time in 2022 before a return to the majors and hopefully a full-time role if everything plays out well for the young man. He really has a long ways to go and his range of outcomes is anywhere from not going to make it in the big leagues to potential major league regular with the ability to make an impact, but using him wisely while working on his deficiencies in the big leagues is the only course of action for now.

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