Akil Baddoo’s outbursts have been well-documented in Detroit Tigers’ circles. He began his career as a little-known outfielder from the Rule 5 draft and tore up Spring Training. Then he started the season on a tear, hitting a home run in his first at-bat, a grand slam in his second game, and a walk-off against the team that dropped him to the Rule 5 draft. He followed that with a slump that had many critics questioning his abilities and labeling him as a “fluke.” He has responded to the doubters by posting a .297 average in his past 30 games, and by being a spark plug for the offense with a .357 On-Base Percentage, four home runs, and seven stolen bases. This stretch led fellow contributor Roger Castillo to call for him to be put in the Rookie of the Year conversation.
It’s also worth noting Baddoo has an abundance of energy and passion for the game, making it look fun out there. Baddoo coined the Bow and Arrow celebration for the squad, which has been seen in action by more members of the Tigers. He has injected youth and passion into not only the offense but the whole team, and when he is doing well, the team often does well, too. He plays solid defense in the outfield and has made some incredible plays at times. It is clear Akil Baddoo could be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.
Here’s Baddoo ripping a double into the corner, letting the helmet fly off as he glides into second: