Former Standout Could Be Next in Line to Be Called Up by Tigers

Former Standout Could Be Next in Line to Be Called Up by Tigers

The Detroit Tigers were standing on top of the American League standings with an undefeated 5-0 record to open the season. They briefly maintained that lead, but even when they fell out of the top spot, they leaned on their rotation to stay in the mix and, for the most part, were breathing down Cleveland’s neck. Detroit is currently in a rough patch after a ninth-inning collapse to open the series against the Yankees that contributed to a sweep and another ninth-inning collapse that resulted in a 10th-inning walkoff victory for Cleveland in the series wrap-up on the road. That loss cost the Tigers the series as the Guardians took two of three.

Riley Greene has been playing like an all-star, and Tarik Skubal is considered the AL Cy Young frontrunner. Detroit is still over .500 but find themselves now in fourth place in the division. The American League Central is the only division to have four teams with a winning record. The Tigers could easily be leading the way if not for offensive blunders and a slow start from Spencer Torkelson. Stellar performances from Jack Flaherty, Reese Olson, and Skubal have been wasted this season due to a lack of run support. Despite there being some negatives, there are still some good positives for this Tigers team early on this season and still reason for optimism. The slow start offensively is nothing new as it’s something we’ve seen over the past couple of seasons. Around June the bats seem to heat up. If they can stay healthy and within striking distance, they can still compete for the division crown.

One of the more positive headlines this season outside of the pitching performances has been the success the organization has had with calling up prospects. Wenceel Pérez took Parker Meadows’ spot on the roster and has done it all for the team since joining the Big League roster. Ryan Vilade made a good early impression in Cleveland and could be a mainstay on the roster if he puts it all together. Obviously, the hope is Detroit will stay healthy. However, if there were to be an injury in the outfield, a former standout at the big league level may have put himself next in line to get the call-up with his performance with the Toledo Mud Hens.

Akil Baddoo is putting himself in a position to get a roster spot back

Akil Baddoo burst onto the scene in 2021 and seemed to be part of the long-term plan. Unfortunately, Baddoo never found stability after his short-lived success. However, the Tigers outfielder is just 25 years old and has the tools to be great if he puts it all together. He’s had a strong start to the season in Triple-A and may be next in line should an opportunity come up. A few things the Tigers will consider if a door opens for Baddoo is the fact that he is currently fourth in AAA in barrel percentage (20.7%), second on the team in Home Runs (4), third best OPS (.860), leads the team in runs scored (21), and is a speedster like Meadows, who was just sent down to figure out what hasn’t been working for him at the plate. One thing is for certain, Baddoo wouldn’t get called up for his speed. That would be an added bonus. But what he’s done with his bat in Toledo may be enough for him to get a roster spot. Baddoo is slashing .264/.369./491 with four home runs, 16 RBIs, a combined 13 extra-base hits, 18 walks to 25 strikeouts, and an impressive 11 stolen bases.

Another player who is playing well enough to earn a roster spot is first-round pick Jace Jung. The season Jung has had in Toledo is absurd. He leads the Mud Hens in the following categories: Batting average, OPS, Home Runs, RBIs, Doubles, Hits, Runs scored (tied with Baddoo), Slugging percentage, and walks.

The Tigers are back at home on Friday to play an Astros team that has been shockingly bad this season (13-24 record). Casey Mize will be on the mound.

Gage O'Leary

I'm one of the writers for ITD Baseball, I cover the Detroit Tigers and I hope to have a career in sports some day.

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