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Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: #10 Akil Baddoo

The lower levels of the minor leagues are littered with speedy center fielders who have no idea how to play baseball. Elite athletes who have absolutely no clue what they’re doing in the batter’s box.

And then you have Akil Baddoo. Guys like this aren’t supposed to know the strike zone like he does.
10. Akil Baddoo, CF
Age: 20 (DOB (8/16/98)
2018 Stats (-A): 517 PA, .243/.351/.419, 11 HR, 40 RBI
ETA: 2021
2018 Ranking: 10

What’s to like?
This guy’s not just an athlete. Baddoo has a career .367 on-base percentage and an even more impressive walk rate of 14.4 percent. Only 10 qualified MLB hitters walked more often in 2018.

Baddoo’s also not just a strict pull hitter, another common issue among lower-level prospects. That should keep opposing teams from employing any extreme shifts against him. Here’s a look at his spray chart:
Attached Image: BaddooSpray.png
Most of his home run power is right down the line, but you can see plenty of extra-base hits going to the left of center field.

Through the first two months of last season, Baddoo posted a .396 OBP, but that came with a very weak .336 slugging percentage. From that point forward, we started to see him punish pitches on a more regular basis. His OBP was only .329 through the rest of the season, but that came with an impressive .454 slugging percentage. So I think it’s fair to say he’s both shown excellent on-base skills and some nice pop.

Is there a way he can balance out those two approaches, or even better yet, manage to maintain the best of both worlds? That’s the part that’s really exciting about Baddoo. He’s shown flashes of so many different skills.

But let’s get back to that athleticism. Baddoo led the Midwest League with 11 triples last season and has a stolen base success rate over 80 percent for his career (41-for-51). The speed is real.

There’s a lot to like.

What’s left to work on?
Surprise, surprise, he needs to get better against left-handed pitching. Real original, Akil. After handling southpaws to the tune of an .840 OPS in 2017, Baddoo hit just .220/.304/.339 (.643 OPS) against same-sided pitching this past season. Of his 17 career home runs, all but one of them have come against right-handed pitchers.

What else? Baddoo would also benefit from cutting down on his strikeouts. Being comfortable working deep counts is great, but his strikeout rate of 24 percent last season is just a little too high. If anything, that rate figures to rise as he climbs the ladder, so Baddoo may benefit from being a bit more aggressive early in the count from time-to-time. He could also use some refinement in the field.

What’s next?
After spending the entire 2018 season with Cedar Rapids, Baddoo figures to spend plenty of his time in Fort Myers this year. Not only does the competition become more advanced, but the Florida State League is also a notorious pitcher’s environment. It should serve for a great measuring stick for Baddoo.

This is the second straight year Baddoo has slotted 10th in our rankings. With this upcoming season serving as somewhat of a make or break year in terms of his prospect stock, he could shoot up the list or he could drop down, but I’d bet against a three-peat in the 10 spot.

Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects
Honorable Mentions
20. Jose Miranda
19. Jorge Alcala
18. LaMonte Wade
17. Zack Littell
16. Gilberto Celestino
15. Yunior Severino
14. Ben Rortvedt
13. Ryan Jeffers
12. Nick Gordon
11. Stephen Gonsalves
10. Akil Baddoo
9. Coming Soon

Get to know more about these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback or as an eBook.

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41 Comments

 

Huh. His last name is silent?

 

Rhymes with voodoo

 

One thing you cannot teach is OBP, and the walk rate.I am very excited about this.Twins have far too many swing and miss guys up higher that chase.

Unfortunately, walk rate in the low minors has extremely low predictive value for future performance. Chris Mitchell (who had a stat-based prospect ranking system at Fangraphs and was eventually hired by a front office) ignored walk rate almost completely until AA. And for reference, Buxton and Sano both had BB% and K% rates in Cedar Rapids very similar Baddoo last year.

    • birdwatcher and Mike Sixel like this
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Twinsoholic
Feb 04 2019 04:52 PM

Seth, Miranda played 27 games at High A and 104 at Low A. Baddoo played 113 at Low A. I know we all hope they are both successful. I just think Miranda has out performed Baddoo to this point. Obviously, Baddoo could end up as the better player, but to see him now as #10 and Miranda as #20 is arguably surprising. 

    • DocBauer likes this

 

In terms of prospect status. Take a look at some of the guys who were going from Cedar Rapids to Fort Myers last year and what happened to them, guys like Lewin Diaz and Travis Blankenhorn. I think a lot of things can get exposed in this jump that Baddoo's about to make, pitchers in the FSL are a lot more advanced than in the MWL.

Ugh. A Diaz analogy for Baddoo.

 

The reason Diaz has 'disappeared' from the top prospect conversation, is that he shouldn't have been in that conversation in the first place (heading into 2018).

 

If Baddoo OPS's 598 at Fort Myers this season (as Diaz did last year), he will have done it as a player with significant defensive value and flexibility, value on the bases, and at the age of 20...as apposed to Diaz who did so as a player with zero defensive flexibility and next-to-zero defensive value, zero value on the bases...and at the age of 21. (Also, Blankenhorn never saw Fort Myers until his age 21 season...spending his age 20 season in Cedar Rapids being about as good offensively as Baddoo was last year at 19)

 

I won't try to predict the future for any of these guys, but I'm guessing most prospect rankers are going to give Baddoo more rope than Blankenhorn and a lot more rope than Diaz.

    • birdwatcher and Mike Sixel like this

 

Unfortunately, walk rate in the low minors has extremely low predictive value for future performance. Chris Mitchell (who had a stat-based prospect ranking system at Fangraphs and was eventually hired by a front office) ignored walk rate almost completely until AA. And for reference, Buxton and Sano both had BB% and K% rates in Cedar Rapids very similar Baddoo last year.

You are correct about part of this.Earlier in this thread, it was stated that Baadoo was in the low 30% range the first two months, then dropped to the low 20's the last 4. (strikeout rate).Also a lot of the called looking K's were very marginal.It is hard to tell, but a walk rate is hard to teach, especially if their is not a big chase rate.  


How does he pronounce his name?


I know it is "Ah-kill bah-do"
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Tom Froemming
Feb 04 2019 07:51 PM

 

Ugh. A Diaz analogy for Baddoo.

 

The reason Diaz has 'disappeared' from the top prospect conversation, is that he shouldn't have been in that conversation in the first place (heading into 2018).

 

If Baddoo OPS's 598 at Fort Myers this season (as Diaz did last year), he will have done it as a player with significant defensive value and flexibility, value on the bases, and at the age of 20...as apposed to Diaz who did so as a player with zero defensive flexibility and next-to-zero defensive value, zero value on the bases...and at the age of 21. (Also, Blankenhorn never saw Fort Myers until his age 21 season...spending his age 20 season in Cedar Rapids being about as good offensively as Baddoo was last year at 19)

 

I won't try to predict the future for any of these guys, but I'm guessing most prospect rankers are going to give Baddoo more rope than Blankenhorn and a lot more rope than Diaz.

Are you trying to suggest that if Baddoo posts a sub-.600 OPS he's not going to slip in these prospect rankings? All I'm trying say is if he struggles, like a lot of guys do making this jump, he's going to get passed by in these rankings.

 

There will be guys who breakout, additions via the draft and, let's face it, a good chance of some talent being added at the deadline again. At the same time, I'm not sure I'd project a single guy ranked ahead of Baddoo right now to graduate from prospect status in 2019, so it's not like room is opening up at the top. Competition for a spot this high is going to be thick.

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AlwaysinModeration
Feb 04 2019 08:07 PM
SD, how about he go with the nickname “Yabba Dah”?
    • Twins33, SD Buhr and gagu like this
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birdwatcher
Feb 04 2019 09:56 PM

 

Bah-Doo

 

FIFY

Not going back to the Twins arriving in Minnesota, and skipping the 70's, some of may remember those days, but since the 80's there has been a magnificent group of CF and CF prospects. Really, Puckett really set the stage. And then came Hunter, but not without some struggles initially. Then came Mack, (sorta), and Span, and Revere, (sorta again), and then Gomez. But it was, for years, a nice progression of talent. But Gomez was rushed and found success elsewhere. And then Hicks...not going there, and now Buxton. What else needs to be said we don't already know and haven't spouted out at length in internet ink?

He is a tremendous athletic talent that compares to the affor mentioned players that I don't need to go on. Who knows how good he could be? Hopefully his arm will be good enough to stay in CF, along with instinct. But despite his reported "raw" nature, you can't just teach a patient approach at the plate. If his natural instinct is to work the count to his advantage, aggression can be taught and learned.

Discipline, athleticism, power and speed are all there. Just give him a little to put it all together.
    • rdehring likes this

Looks like he is pretty hard to double up.

    • gagu and caninatl04 like this

 

How does he pronounce his name?

Correctly every time

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I hope he continues along the top 10 (or better) prospect list.With the depth ahead of him in the outfield, he could be a nice asset to move at the trade deadline.

All I'm trying say is if he struggles, like a lot of guys do making this jump, he's going to get passed by in these rankings.


That’s true of every single highly-regarded prospect that has ever made that jump or ever will make that jump. I’m confuses as to why Baddoo’s situation is uniquely “make-or-break”. At this point you’re kind of obliged to feel that this year will also be a make-or-break for Miranda and will REALLY be make-or-break for Jeffers...two other highly-ranked position players headed for Ft Myers...both older than Baddoo.
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Tom Froemming
Feb 07 2019 08:45 AM

 

That’s true of every single highly-regarded prospect that has ever made that jump or ever will make that jump. I’m confuses as to why Baddoo’s situation is uniquely “make-or-break”. At this point you’re kind of obliged to feel that this year will also be a make-or-break for Miranda and will REALLY be make-or-break for Jeffers...two other highly-ranked position players headed for Ft Myers...both older than Baddoo.

Agreed, I never said it was unique to Baddoo.

 

Agreed, I never said it was unique to Baddoo.

Fair enough. Still, age and pedigree has to matter some, right? When Torii Hunter OPS'd 678 in Ft Myers after having gone around 800 in low A...it would have been silly for his prospect status to take much of a hit at all. He was a no. 20 overall pick, offered value beyond the hit tool, and was only 19 years old. Baddoo is not analogous to Hunter, but still...pretty glossy tools and will only be 20.

 

Admitted, (and ironically) his youth kinda works against him in a way, as well...at least in terms of a future with our favorite club. His rule-5 clock started ticking when he was barely 17. He's going to be rule-5 eligible at a relatively early stage of his overall development (almost Dominican-like), which could be problematic for the Twins if he stalls at all in the lower levels.

    • ashbury likes this

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