3 Detroit Tigers who shouldn't be guaranteed an Opening Day roster spot in 2024

Detroit Tigers utility man Zach McKinstry
Detroit Tigers utility man Zach McKinstry / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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Akil Baddoo

There was a moment in 2021 when Akil Baddoo looked like he could turn into a serviceable, everyday outfielder or even occasional DH for the Tigers. He hit .259/.330/.436 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 124 games. But then something happened in 2022 — maybe it was late karma for the fact that he started selling NFTs of himself in 2021 — and by early May, he was in Triple-A after hitting a mere .140 in the majors.

He came back up and went back down a few more times before becoming a more regular presence in April of this year after Austin Meadows stepped away from baseball for mental health reasons. Still, he didn't fare well, hitting .218/.310/.372 as the Tigers' most regular left fielder. Defensively, he was average bordering on poor, with a 0 OAA and an overall arm strength of 85.6, just a few tics above average.

The Tigers signing Mark Canha, another left fielder with a better OBP in 2023 than any Tiger, will probably end up in the team kicking Baddoo back down to Triple-A or keeping him as the occasional bench bat or pinch runner (he does have an elite sprint speed). Either way, Baddoo shouldn't be making as many as 99 starts in left field, and he definitely shouldn't be on Detroit's Opening Day roster.

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