Last December, the Tigers picked up Akil Baddoo, a lefty outfielder, from the Twinkies in the Rule 5 Draft. Detroit had like 20 unserviceable outfielders, so why not tuck a little sumpin’ sumpin’ extra under the tree for Christmas?
Baddoo debuted Sunday. On the very first pitch he saw in the majors, he hit a homerun. He was the second Tiger ever to do so. We see ya, boo…er, Baddoo.
Yesterday, after Nelly Cruz smacked a grand slam following a swing to the seats that was ruled foul, the game was an utter wash for the Tigers. Fans who stuck around for the ugly end got a little treat, though. In the 9th, Baddo came up one last time, and he pulled a Nelly — hitting his own grand slam. What the what???!!!
Today, Tigers-Twins were tied up at the end of regulation play, throwing the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Baddoo came to the plate with Harold Castro on 3B and Robbie Grossman on 1B, courtesy an intentional walk. No pressure, kid. The game was only at the 4-hour mark. Plenty of daylight left. But, apparently, Baddoo had reservations for take out because he hit a beautiful, crackling single to right field. A walk-off win!
So, in three games, Baddoo has a first-pitch HR, a grand slam, and a walk-off hit in extra innings! He’s boasting a .500 average and 1.750 OPS. Sure, it’s not sustainable, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the pants-peeing I would have for a major league debut. And, its made for a bright opening to a season with low expectations. Keep hope alive!