April 18, 2021

Akil Baddoo, Where He Belongs (FanGraphs)

You can see, if you want, the teenager who signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2016: a second-round pick from Salem High School in Georgia, leaving an offer from the University of Kentucky to make a go of it in the minors. You can see, in fact, his pre-draft workout for the Twins. It’s right here on YouTube, with a modest thousand views: not the best quality, not the best angle, but he’s there, swinging away, his face turned away from the camera. The video was uploaded by John Baddoo, his dad, whose channel features just one other video — again, starring his son Akil, this time going up to bat in Puerto Rico. From behind the dugout in the sparsely-populated stands — so far that, at first, it’s unclear who is being filmed — the phone camera slowly focuses on Akil as he takes his warm-up swings. Its shaky zoom follows him to the plate. When he puts the ball in play, the video ends abruptly. We don’t know what happened to that ball, whether it was a hit or an out, but it doesn’t matter: We saw his patience, his swing. When this video was uploaded in 2015, he was only 17 years old.

Now, Akil Baddoo is 22. He is, as of last week, a major leaguer. And his debut…

Read “Akil Baddoo, Where He Belongs” at FanGraphs