Detroit Tigers: Prospects power the offense in spring training opener

Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo takes live batting practice during Detroit Tigers spring training on Monday, March 14, 2022, at TigerTown in Lakeland, Florida.Tigers1
Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo takes live batting practice during Detroit Tigers spring training on Monday, March 14, 2022, at TigerTown in Lakeland, Florida.Tigers1 /
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The youth of the Detroit Tigers put on a power display as Akil Baddoo and Riley Greene go back to back in the 3rd inning.

Finally, Detroit Tigers fans were treated to spring training action as the Tigers took on the Phillies this afternoon down in Lakeland. There were plenty of new faces on display that made their Tigers’ debut.

A new battery started the game as Eduardo Rodriguez step on the mound for the first time wearing the old English “D” with Tucker Barnhart, acquired from the Reds early in the off-season.Rodriguez on the day pitched 3 innings, allowing one run over three hits and struck out 3.

The top two prospects in the system and in all of baseball, Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, quickly made a good first impression.

First, Akil Baddoo got the scoring with a home run to right field to lead off the third inning.

The next batter, Riley Greene, joined in on the fun as he went to left field for his first home run of the spring.

Spencer Torkelson doubles for his first hit in Lakeland, then later scored on a Tucker Barnhart single. Dillon Dingler, who was Spencer’s teammate at West Michigan and later at Erie, smoked a double to right. After the game, he was sent down to minor league camp.

The “rocket” hit by Kody Clemens

Kody Clemens, who was added to the 40-man roster over the winter, dropped his hands and parked a fastball in right field for a home run. His father, Roger Clemens, showed his pride right after the home run. Clemens finished on the day going 2-for-3.  The game ended in a 6-6 tie.

Game one impression:

  • Akil Baddoo made noise early in spring training last season and he just picked up where he left off with his bat. He is content on batting lead off where he hit 8 home runs last season and putting up a slash line of .256/.310/.401 with an OPS of .711 batting first in 284 plate appearances.
  • A tough day for Willi and Harold. Willi had an error early in the game and they combined to go 0-for-4 at the plate.
  • Ryan Kreidler showed off his arm playing short and looked as comfortable as he did last season down in Erie and Toledo.
  • Will Vest struck out the first two batters he faced with his two and four seam fastballs, only throwing a pair of off-speed pitches.

Next game:

The Tigers hit the road to Bradenton to play the Pittsburgh Pirates as Javier Baez will make his Detroit Tigers debut, starting at 1:05pm.

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