Why Detroit Tigers demoted outfielder Akil Baddoo to Triple-A Toledo

Outfielder Akil Baddoo, the Detroit Tigers‘ rookie sensation final season, is packing his baggage for Triple-A Toledo.

The Tigers demoted Baddoo to the Mud Hens on Monday. He is anticipated to be in Toledo’s lineup Tuesday. Poor efficiency sparked the Tigers’ resolution to ship him down; the 23-year-old hit .140 in 17 video games.

“You always got to make good out of it,” Baddoo mentioned Monday. “It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to get the reps that I need and be ready to come back. … I definitely want to be back where I feel I belong. It’s the same mindset, be here as quick as possible.”

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Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) during batting practice before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Detroit Tigers middle fielder Akil Baddoo (60) throughout batting observe earlier than the sport in opposition to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

To exchange Baddoo on the roster, right-handed reliever Rony Garcia was referred to as up from Toledo.

Another roster transfer will should be made earlier than Wednesday’s recreation, as left-hander Joey Wentz, at the moment in Triple-A, is tabbed for his MLB debut within the fourth of 5 video games in opposition to the Oakland Athletics.

The Tigers, popping out of spring coaching, did not count on they would want to demote Baddoo. After all, the 2020 Rule 5 draft choose — who hadn’t performed above High-A within the minor leagues — burst onto the scene final season with a .259 batting common in 124 video games.

“The reality is, this is where we’re at, and we need him to decompress, get himself right and play every day,” supervisor A.J. Hinch mentioned Monday. “He can really help us. Our best team has him on it. But right now, we’ve not been able to get him started and get him going consistently to where we feel like it’s beneficial for him to be here.”

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Spanning Baddoo’s magical 2021 season, he tossed in 20 doubles, seven triples and 13 house runs. He additionally tallied 18 stolen bases in 22 makes an attempt. This time round, although, he boasts simply two extra-base hits and one stolen base in two makes an attempt.

Baddoo’s on-base share dropped from .330 in 2021 to .218 in 2022; his two-strike batting common plummeted, too, from .193 to .121.

“He got caught in between of what kind of hitter that he wants to be,” Hinch mentioned. “I know everybody seeks damage. Everybody wants power. To create that, you gotta sacrifice something.”

Hinch mentioned Baddoo, seeking energy, sacrificed his management of the strike zone and skill to hit with two strikes. He desires him to take a contact-first method in sure conditions on the plate, moderately than specializing in hitting for energy.

“Triple-A is going to be a better place for him to work on bunts,” Hinch mentioned, “to work on two-strike hitting, to work on contact being his friend and not selling out so much to the perfect pitch and trying to do damage from the get-go. That’s not to say he’s not going to do damage but selling out to do it is probably not a good idea.”

Baddoo has a 27.3% strikeout charge in 2022.

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Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo safely slides into third ahead of the throw to Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers during the fourth inning Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Detroit.

Tigers middle fielder Akil Baddoo safely slides into third forward of the throw to Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers through the fourth inning Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Detroit.

He has performed 141 video games in his two-year MLB profession, hitting .246 with a 26.6% strikeout charge and 9.1% stroll charge. For the Mud Hens, Baddoo will get to be in on a regular basis beginning lineup.

Baddoo performed 4 video games for Triple-A in 2021 as a part of a rehab task.

“Just to get more at-bats, just getting my reps so I can be back here,” Baddoo mentioned. “I feel like I’m best here. I’m a big-leaguer player, with my speed and my energy and my athleticism. Just getting my at-bats down in Triple-A.”

How lengthy Baddoo stays in Toledo will probably be performance-based , which means he might return to the Tigers shortly, or he could possibly be absent for the foreseeable future.

Hinch is assured Baddoo will method his demotion with professionalism.

“This is not an indictment on his ability, his future, his present,” Hinch mentioned. “It just changes where he’s playing. He can be back here in short order. I think this will be good for him. He’s not the first player that has to do this. He’s not going to be the last player. And he’s going to take the right approach because he’s Akil Baddoo.”

Contact Evan Petzold at or observe him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read extra on the Detroit Tigers and join our Tigers publication.

This article initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers demote Akil Baddoo to Triple-A Toledo

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