Throughout the history of baseball, there is one thing that all great base stealers have in common and Detroit Tigers rookie OF Akil Baddoo has that trait. He is not afraid.
On Sunday, during the Tigers 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox, Baddoo took advantage of third baseman Jake Burger, who was making his MLB debut.
Baddoo, who was on second base, noticed that Burger was playing so far off third base that he thought he could beat him to the bag if he tried to steal. Without fear, Baddoo took off on the pitch and easily beat Burger, who never even made it to the base.
Following the game, Tigers manager AJ Hinch talked about Baddoo and his base-stealing ability.
“He’s not afraid,” Hinch said of Baddoo. “That’s a great trait to have. He’s very aggressive. But he’s also very smart. He has the best first step on our team and arguably on a lot of teams. His awareness has grown from the beginning of the season until now on what he’s looking for.
“That was being opportunistic at taking a base when the game allows it.”
One thing is for sure, Baddoo has given the Tigers a boost of excitement from the first moment he stepped on the field this season and it sure seems like he is going to continue doing so for a very long time.