Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo's time on the roster could be running out

After breaking onto the scene in 2021 in style, Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo has come crashing back down to reality. From offense to defense, it has been a rough stretch for Baddoo.

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

Akil Baddoo stole the hearts of Detroit Tigers fans in 2021, homering on the very first pitch he saw in the big leagues. Fans were blown away. Is he the next great thing? Is this finally a turning point for the team? Did we find someone? The answer to all of that was simply no. Mostly, this was just reactionary emotion from fans, as Baddoo was never a highly touted prospect in the organization. But hey, it was something to be excited about. Let the fans have their moment; it has been a while.

In his first year, Akil Baddoo finished the season with decent stats despite ups and downs throughout the year. A .259 average with 13 home runs and 55 RBI out of the leadoff spot is pretty good for a rookie. It may not be Rookie of the Year numbers, but it is solid nonetheless. This was certainly a glimmer of hope for many fans who have been in the deep dark cave that has been Detroit Tigers baseball for the past five seasons at this point.

The following season was going to be crucial for Baddoo. It was time to prove he could stay in the big leagues for good, trying to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Unfortunately, it did not go that way. Playing in just 73 games, his average plummeted to .204, and his OBP was just .289. Baddoo's power also dropped, slugging just two home runs that season. The wheels were coming off for Akil.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo was reaching the end of the road.

Moving to 2023, things improved for Baddoo, but not much. He was back to a mostly everyday role, playing in 112 games but hitting just .218 with 11 home runs and a .310 OBP. Fans started getting irritated, questioning Baddoo's ability.

This was especially true once Parker Meadows came onto the scene and started scorching hot. Baddoo's defense also came into question, often making routine fly balls look adventurous, diving at balls he could never catch, and showing off an arm that looked more like a wet noodle than a professional outfielder.

Even ex-announcer Matt Shepherd called Baddoo's arm into question when a throw home slowly rolled toward the plate, allowing a run to score. Everyone has a time when it is just time for an organization to move on, and it appears that time may be now for the Tigers with Akil Baddoo.

At this point, the Tigers are still projecting to put Akil Baddoo in left field on Opening Day. Why? I'm not sure anyone knows the answer. You have a player who never had great numbers, and continues to show decline at the plate with less power, low average, high strikeout percentage, and low OBP.

The same player who struggles in the outfield, with opposing teams taking notice and sending just about everyone around third base, and your announcer questioning his throwing strength. The Tigers also acquired Mark Canha from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade this offseason but are still projecting Baddoo in left field. It is time to shake up that position, and unfortunately for Baddoo, he seems like the odd man out.