Maybe we all want to take advantage of Detroit Tigers outside player Akila Baddoo because this is such a fun, unexpected story. The immediately popular Rule 5 pick is a humorous home run and produces winning hits in the first week of the major leagues, as long as his excited parents enjoy the show from the stands. I enjoy the show too. This is fun! Baseball is fun! Still, comes the analyst of the rude Mr. Eric, who tells you why it was so unexpected and why Baddoo’s place on the list with the most passes is too early.
Baddoo, 22, is an armed left-handed striker from Maryland who hit .214 with four run-off hosts over 131 appearances on the board for the Single-A Fort Myers in the Florida State League 2019. Like most underage leagues, he didn’t play in 2020, though in his case he was also recovering from Tommy John’s operation. Choosing the second round of twins from Minnesota in 2016, Baddoo has been in their juvenile system for four years. He hit the .249 saucer discipline, but few thought the superstar was lurking. The Twins interrupted him with his last seasonal appearance with 40 players, and the Tigers in the rebound rushed.
The Tigers aren’t exactly stacked on the big league field, and Robbie Grossman, JaCoby Jones and Victor Reyes adorn their lineup on Opening Day. Baddoo started in his third game, hitting the ninth, and on the first field he saw, he knocked out the home series of the opposite field. What a terrible story! He saw seven pitches over three bats, one was an attack. He attacked the grand slam on Monday and stole the base! On Tuesday, it was a walk-off RBI single. He started on Wednesday and tripled in the second lap in a race with Kente Maede. Is there anything that Achilles Baddoo can’t do?
Well, obviously there is, so be careful who you choose to downsize, dear fantasy managers, to add Baddoo to your teams. This is the second fairy tale from “catcher” rookie Chicago White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes, a 28-year-old journeyman with a history of punches, including 1,033 OPS in Triple-A Charlotte 2019. Mercedes is not a raw punch. We can discuss whether he could currently play the catcher better than Kyle Schwarber or you and me, but it doesn’t matter. Chicago has a catcher. They needed DH. Maybe they have them. I think Mercedes will hit – and play – enough to be a potential top 10 fantasy catcher. Wild, isn’t it?
Baddoo is the other side of the game
Baddoo saw a plate appear above the High-A ball, and even struggled to make contact there, even though he was drawing walks. The Tigers ’decision to pick him reminded me of the Baltimore Orioles who had chosen Richie Martin’s crossbar two years earlier in a draft of Rule 5 from Oakland Athletics. Martin at least played a Double-A ball. He fought for the Orioles and returned to the minors after one season. Similarly, the Tigers probably thought they could keep Baddoo until 2021 (especially if winning isn’t an immediate priority), and he would head to the minors at least 2022. Hey, that could still happen.
Still, why unilaterally put out potential fantasy assets, right? Surprises happen, and in his 19-year low-A season in the Midwest League in 2018, Baddoo scored 11 home runs with 24 stolen bases and 74 walks in the Low-A ball, which turned out to be small because he, too, was 124 times he blew, but apparently boasts an intriguing Tool for the bat to the ball, and the Tigers have to let him play. Maybe Miami Marlins infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. rough offensive comp. Baddoo is physically bigger, but each hits left-handed, a little pop and more speed, and pitchers can take advantage of them due to a lack of contact skills. Jazzy Baddoo, a new indie band you have to check out!
Tigers have to keep Baddoo on their list. You, dear fantasy managers, do not. While it’s not a mistake to add Baddoo to fantasy teams, be prepared to move on if this Cinderella story goes downhill abruptly. Let’s just say the pitchers will figure out how to deal with it, and then it’s up to Baddo to react. The Tigers did not expect this fun start. If they did, Baddoo would play more in the first week. We can cheer for success, but we must also be reasonable.
Money in the news
Thursday is the day we discuss newcomers / potential clients on this blog. At some point, when the small leagues start and we have a better idea of what the teams actually intend to do with their young staff, we can set it up as a “call” for our world of imagination – but we’re not there yet. The San Diego Padres, for example, the esteemed left-handed MacKenzie Gore, didn’t throw the field at Triple-A … and who knows when they will? We have no idea what he’s doing.
For now, newcomers at the level of the main league are on my mind today. These are of course the most hyped or the best novices, of course. Hope is happening today with Seattle Mariners outside player Jarred Kelenic to talk about him. Here, then, are those who are actually in the news.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India has already reached the double-digit RBI, which is quite an achievement in one-week games. India, which will soon add a second base qualification to third base in the ESPN leagues, has goals in all six games, although it has feasted on some difficult issues (mostly from the Pirates). That will change soon. I want to see him continue to make contact with the right-handed thrower before announcing that he can maintain a hitting average of .270 – which he couldn’t handle in a minor. Add it for the current Baddoo party. We may keep India close, instead of turning to veterans like Adam Frazier and Manuel Margot.
Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves center forward, Cristian Pache looks excessive in the table, as if a shot in eight out of 16 PAs is not a sufficient indicator. Again, pitchers (and those who advise pitchers how to position themselves with punches) are pretty smart. They adapt. Pache is a wonderful defender in the center field, much like the colleague he pushed to the bench (veteran Ender Inciarte), and I wonder if Atlanta will turn to other options in May if Pache doesn’t hit. Yes, it’s early and Pache may be just fine, and Atlanta can bury him in a packed lineup. This is just an observation.
Tyler Stephenson of Cincinnati stands out in the rookie catcher race. The right-hander is an attacker – and that with the discipline of the board. You should see enough time to play compared to leftists. Tucker Barnhart is currently standing in the way of constant work, but in the end this will not be a competition. Stephenson will hit and we should be looking at the top 10 catchers for 2022. I’m not so optimistic about twin rookie Ryan Jeffers, who has seven of his 10 strokes. Dom Nunez has a few home runs for the Colorado Rockies, but that’s all he did, so who knows? Still, there are Coors Fields. I prefer Texas Rangers striker Jonah Heim.
As for the starting pitchers, I wanted to see another well-built right-wing Boston Red Sox Tanner Houck, the September star who knocked out 10 of the 26 Orioles and Air he faced in his first week. Alas, there is no (obviously) room for rotation and it is out of the list for now. Still keep it in a deeper format.
Jose De Leon of Cincinnati, somehow still a rookie qualifying for his fifth season of the major leagues, cheered for nine Pirates on Monday. Still, yes, I’m going there, we need to see him do it in relation to better lineups. Luckily, Arizona and Cleveland follow, so De Leon could go weeks untested.
Dane Dunning looked good for the Texas Rangers and is lurking in the future, but he still counts on the field. He was so efficient, he only needed 70 pitches through five innings, with just a walk, that he earned the win.
Meanwhile, Cleveland uses skinny right-handed Triston McKenzie in a hybrid relief role, much like the Philadelphia Phillies plan to do with Spencer Howard. I don’t even expect to provide useful fantastic numbers that way.
In the world of relief, I mentioned White Sox right-winger Michael Kopech in Tuesday’s Tuesday Report, and I could have included Los Angeles Angels right-winger Chris Rodriguez with him. Rodriguez, another potential pitcher who is waiting his turn until 2022 to rotate, should at least miss the bats. His main problem is staying healthy. Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Julian Merryweather is still eligible for the rookie as well, but we’ve talked enough about him already!
Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast
LISTEN: Injuries: Playing a long game
Stephania Bell joins the show to talk not only to Fernando Tatis Jr. (0:25), but also to sick stars George Springer and Cody Bellinger (11:35). Eric Karabell and Tristian H. Cockcroft discuss the value around these injuries (16:20) before dealing with the week that was (23:30), the confusing bullpens (37:40) and the players advancing in the ranks over seven days ( 48:25).