We’ve all been captivated by the story of Akil Baddoo this spring. A solid but unassuming Minnesota Twins prospect who blew out his elbow back in 2019, the Tigers picked him up in the Rule 5 draft hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. So far, so good. Baddoo hadn’t played an official game above the High-A level. Until today.
And as he did throughout spring training, he looks like a completely different player. On the very first pitch of his major league career, a fastball down from Cleveland Indians starter Aaron Civale, Baddoo launched a big fly the opposite way for his first major league home run.
This is storybook-level stuff, and we are loving it. Continue to keep expectations in check, because this is too outrageous to quite buy into just yet, but the kid keeps getting it done. And man, he knew this was gone immediately. Nice bat flip debut as well.
Akil Baddoo is the 9th player in Tigers history with a HR in his 1st career AB
2020 Sergio Alcántara
2015 Daniel Norris
1974 Reggie Sanders
1970 Gene Lamont
1964 Bill Rowan
1963 Gates Brown
1948 Sam Vico
1944 Hack Miller
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) April 4, 2021
The Tigers are flexing some power today. Free agent acquisition Nomar Mazara also went yard in the first inning to erase a deficit caused by a blown pickoff play in the top of the first inning. This is why Mazara is here. To try and develop better ability to turn on breaking balls on the inner half, and lift, clean, and separate.
It’s currently 3-1 Tigers in the fourth inning. Tarik Skubal has been quite good, if typically inefficient. Let’s hope the boys can hold on for the sweep.