Twins Daily 2018 Top Prospects: #10 Akil Baddoo
Age: 19 (DOB: 8/16/1998)
2017 Stats (Rookie): .323/.436/.527, 19 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 9-for-13 in stolen base attempts
2017 Ranking: NR
National Top 100 Rankings
BA: NR | MLB : NR | ESPN: NR | BP: NR
What’s To Like
Baddoo broke out in 2017. A year after struggling to a .570 OPS in the GCL, the 18-year old mashed the ball for both rookie league teams. In his second stint in the GCL, he hit .267/.360/.440 with eight extra-base hits in 75 at-bats. He caught fire after being promoted to Elizabethton where he hit .357/.478/.579 with 20 extra-base hits in 126 at-bats. He also showed a very advanced approach at the plate with a 32 to 36 strikeout to walk ratio. Baddoo’s OPS ranked second in the Appalachian League.
Only 15 of his plate appearances came against younger pitchers and he posted a .954 OPS when facing older competition. Defensively, Baddoo has the athleticism to play all three outfield positions but the majority of his starts come in center field. During the 2017 campaign, he didn’t commit an error in over 300 inning in center.
Ray Smith, the manager of the E-Twins, had glowing reviews when asked about Baddoo’s impact on the team. “Our club seemed to kick it into a higher gear once Akil arrived. Deep in counts, would get on base via walks, base hits, etc. All while showing extra-base pop and occasional home run power. [He] covered ground defensively... ran bases aggressively and showed up every day.”
In the E-Twins’ Appy League Finals-clinching victory, Baddoo went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and a walk. Following his outstanding season, Baddoo was named the Twins Daily Short Season Hitter of the Year.
What’s Left To Work On
Leading into last season, Baddoo added 15 pounds and continued to show speed on the base paths. He entered last season at 5’11 and 195 pounds. Since he is still a teenager, there could be room to improve his strength and add more power. For him to continue to trend toward being a five-tool player, he needs to find the right balance of adding strength and not sacrificing speed.
Obviously, he will need to show that 2017’s performance at the plate wasn’t a fluke. Almost all of Baddoo’s power came against right-handed pitching where he compiled a 1.013 OPS. His numbers were still strong against lefties (.328/.426/.414) but he only collected five extra-base hits. With more experience, he will hopefully be able to hit for more power against southpaws.
While his defensive skills have been strong, his arm continues to be an area needing improvement. Throughout his minor league career, he’s only had one outfield assist and it came when he was playing right field. He might need to shift to a corner outfield spot if his arm doesn’t improve.
Baddoo should get his first taste of full season action during 2018 especially based on his time with the E-Twins. If he continues to hit like he did in 2017, there is a chance he could crack into some top 100 prospect lists during next offseason. He could spend 2018 in Cedar Rapids with a chance to make it to Fort Myers in the second-half. Baddoo seems like he could be a similar player to former Twin Matt Lawton.
TD Top Prospects: #20-16
TD Top Prospects: #15-11
TD Top Prospects: #1-9 (Coming Soon)
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