Akil Baddoo is finally starting to hit for some power
Akil Baddoo was left off the Detroit Tigers Opening Day roster after a modest showing in spring training. The Tigers opted to carry the power bat of Kerry Carpenter over the speedy, chaos-enducing Baddoo.
He got his chance when Austin Meadows went on the IL to focus on his mental health. When he first got called up, he looked like he did last year—lost at the plate and sometimes lost on defense as well.
His main issue at the plate was that he hit for virtually no power. He still had a decent eye at the plate, but he couldn't barrel up the ball. Most of his hits were softly hit singles.
He had 26 barrels in 2021, but just five last season. He had no barrels this year up until last Friday against the Nationals.
Over the last week, he's hit two home runs, and neither of them were cheap. He got all of them.
In the month of May, Baddoo is slashing .294/.379/.471 with an .850 OPS. It's been by far his best month since his rookie season in 2021. His season OPS is up to .727, which is above average.
His walk rate is currently 13.1%, which would be the highest of his career. He's being more patient than he ever has before, and now he's starting to drive the ball with authority.
The Akill Baddoo that we saw in 2021 is starting make a comeback. But is it going to be enough to keep him on the team?
Kerry Carpenter is beginning a rehab assignment this weekend. Somebody is going to have to either be DFA'd or sent down when he comes back. With Baddoo starting to catch fire, that decision is starting to become more difficult.
If they don't care about having more lefties that righties on the bench, then they could easily send Andy Ibanez or Zack Short to Toledo. But we all know how much A.J. Hinch loves his platoon advantages.
That decision will be an interesting one when it comes. But for now, it's nice to see Baddoo finally get hot.