He had his ups and downs, but overall, had a really impressive performance that made him a part of the Tigers’ exciting future.
In 124 games last year, Baddoo hit .259/.330/.436 with 13 home runs and 18 stolen bases; not bad for a guy who completely skipped the high minors.
Obviously, like every young player who was thrown into the fire, he had his struggles and areas to improve.
For example, he struck out in 26.5 percent of his plate appearances, and once he got to 0-2 in the count, he was extremely vulnerable.
But baseball is all about making adjustments and improving through practice and reps.
Baddoo Is Already Showing Signs Of Improvement
MLB.com’s reporter covering the Tigers, Jason Beck, pointed out something that Baddoo did this spring that he couldn’t do last year in the big leagues.
“Akil Baddoo got an 0-2 Spring Training pitch in the zone from Hyun Jin Ryu and crushed it to RF for a lefty-lefty leadoff HR. Baddoo neither homered off lefties nor 0-2 pitches last season,” Beck wrote.
Akil Baddoo got an 0-2 Spring Training pitch in the zone from Hyun Jin Ryu and crushed it to RF for a lefty-lefty leadoff HR. Baddoo neither homered off lefties nor 0-2 pitches last season.
— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 25, 2022
It takes some time for young, inexperienced MLB hitters to be able to work the count in their favor, and when they get into a hole, do their best to inflict some damage in an unfavorable situation.
Hitters in an 0-2 count are at the pitcher’s mercy, but they still can do something with a pitch if it’s in the strike zone.
Additionally, for young left-handed hitters, learning to decipher southpaws is a challenge.
We are not saying Baddoo is already an elite hitter because he finally hit a homer off an 0-2 pitch against a lefty, but it’s an encouraging sign.
The Tigers will definitely take it.