Akil Baddoo leads the Tigers’ roster

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Courtesy Photo

Akil Baddoo walks across the plate.

Alexandra Pawlitz, Editor

Baddoo!! That’s what you hear all the fans scream as Akil Baddoo hits his fourth home run of the season against the Houston Astros. 

Baddoo is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. The 22-year-old has been the talk of the dugout as he has performed significantly well his last 10 games. Baddoo is starting out the year 10-for-31 with two doubles, a triple, four homers, 11 RBIs and even a steal. 

According to Ryan Ford of the Detroit Free Press, “Just 393 have done what Baddoo has done in picking up a hit in at least seven of his first 10 career games. And of those 393, only 36 have matched or bettered his 26 total bases in their first 10 games.”

There are some MLB players who play extremely well in the beginning of their major league career, and there are some who take longer to develop their skills until the middle of their career. However, Baddoo has shown his importance to the Tigers and indicated that he is ready for whatever challenges come his way as he has already faced many in his early years.

Baddoo suffered a left elbow strain while playing with the Minnesota Twins, and his 2019 season was a lost year. Then, later down the road in May of 2019, he was told he needed Tommy John surgery. 

Most baseball players indicate Tommy John surgery as a loss cause and fear for the return of their baseball career. However, Baddoo stayed optimistic and looked forward to when he could return to spring training. 

In March of 2020, Baddoo returned to Fort Myers, hoping to get back in action and continue climbing the minor league ladder one step at a time, likely beginning where he left off in High-A. Then the pandemic hit and he ended up going back home to Georgia and waited to see if he was going to be able to play baseball the upcoming season.

Baddoo didn’t get a call from the Twins and feared that the time for him to play in a professional baseball game will be later than he expected. Finally, Dec. 10, the Detroit Tigers selected Baddoo in a Rule 5 draft.

Blake Siefka commented, “I was so excited when Baddoo was drafted because I knew he was going to be a valuable asset to the Tigers. I’m super excited to see where his MLB career takes him. Hopefully, he’ll stay with the Tigers for a while.”

Once he made his first appearance at a Tigers’ game, he made it clear that he was happy to be a Tiger. In his first at-bat at Comerica Park, he hit a home run to left field, where his parents Akilah and John Baddoo were sitting. 

His second MLB game with the Tigers resulted in a grand slam against his former team, the Twins. 

“When he hit the grand slam, my legs got weak and I could barely stand,” said John Baddoo.

In the next game, he hit a walk-off single. Then he hit another homer, making him the first Tiger in history to hit four home runs in his first career eight games.

Logan Koutz mentioned, “Baddoo is on absolute fire. I’ve never seen a rookie compete as well as him in their first 10 games. I’m hoping he can become rookie of the year. He has a lot of potential, and I enjoy watching him.”

From throwing in his backyard to making history in the MLB, it’s been quite a ride. The Baddoos said they’re keeping their son grounded. His father sends him inspirational texts pre-game and his mom talks to him daily.