I’m dropping this one for the head wrap set. The neo-soul, On and On, Better Call Tyrone, Ohhhhh I’m Sorry Ms. Jackson set. Let it be shouted from the mountains the Twins Akil Baddoo is a potential dynasty league breakout for 2018. Sure his mom might be a little overbearing with her giant afro and message of empowerment, but damn can Akil hit. I’ve just been informed that I am incorrect, Akil is not the son of Erykah Badu and Andre 3000. He’s simply another Georgia Peach looking to be the apple of my eye. #Fruitjokes. Taken with the 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Baddoo struggled in his first taste of pro-ball, slashing an underwhelming .178/.299/.271, with 2 homers and 8 steals in 38 games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Sure, that slashline is the kind of cold water that can extinguish the most fiery of prospect crushes. Not for this Prospector, I stand with Baddoo, like he’s symbolic of freedom and kick-assery. Plus he was only 17 years old, and always considered a raw project coming out of the Georgia prep ranks. One that was going to take some time to fully bake. Now that we’ve compared this talented athlete to a sheet of Tollhouse cookies, let’s dive into Baddoo’s excellent 2018, and why he should be a sleeper for 2018 Dynasty Leagues.

 

The unfortunate side effect of being your loyal Prospector in Chief, is my leaguemates read my articles. Why is this at all relevant to today’s post? Well, because my annual opening first year player draft of the season began, as it always does, on December 1st. In addition to all 2017 draftees, any and all unowned players under the minor league limits are up for grabs. As part of the preparation for this league every year, I make a list of prospects that might have slipped under the cracks. One of those prospects happens to be today’s subject Akil Baddoo. See, I had to draft Baddoo before I could ever do something as grandiose as devote an entire post to him. Lucky for you I scooped up Baddoo at 40th overall. That’s not to say I haven’t discussed Baddoo in the past, he was actually on my Sleepers for 2018 Dynasty post from earlier this off-season. But I guess nobody noticed.

Baddoo isn’t a fit for every size league, this happens to be an 18 team dynasty league where you can own up to 31 minor league players. So upwards of 500 prospects are owned, and at this point I would say he’s a fit for leagues of 200+ minors owned. Enough about my leagues, let’s talk about why you need to add Baddoo in your deeper dynasty leagues.

Let’s get something straight, the best type of prospects to take a gamble on, in my humble opinion, are toolsy athletic outfielders. For whatever reason while everyone is caught up in the hype of shortstops and pitching prospects, all these toolsy outfielders slip through the cracks, but pay dividends for those that buy in early. Think Jahmai Jones, Estevan Florial, Taylor Trammell, and that Ronald Acuna guy. These were all players that started generating buzz after strong rookie ball campaigns, or short season showings. In this grand tradition, Akil Baddoo steps forward with his 2017 statline of .323/.436/.527, 4 homers, 29 RBI, and 9 steals in 53 games. Across two levels of rookie ball Baddoo showcased advanced plate approach, walking at a 14.8% clip, while only whiffing at a 13.2% rate. So, here we have an 18 year old with athletics gifts of speed and power (.204 ISO), who walks more than he strikes out. “Sounds good Ralph, tell me more.” No problem random voice inside my head, I gladly will!

Not only does Baddoo’s plate approach, and natural talents support his future success, so does his batted ball profile. He has the sort of balance you want to see from a hitter with speed, he hits a high amount of ground balls (47%), but exceeds 30% in flyball rate, and 20% in line drive rate. He’s also not that pull happy, actually going the other way more often than to his pullside during his time in the Appy League. That’s a good sign from a batting average perspective, because he’s not relying on pullside flyballs, which will make you easy to shift on as a lefthanded batter. Now take all this with a grain of salt, because Baddoo is just 18, and has yet to earn a full season assignment, but he has the tools for it to come together as a true 5 category asset.

Now that said, there are concerns that Baddoo will only develop just average power, and that his speed will slowly disappear over time. But to that I say, first, he’s not without speed or power, second, I’ll gladly bet on the young player with great bat control and understanding of the strike zone and hope he uses his natural ability, and athleticism to tap into his power. Or you can look at the below gif and wonder how the hell he hit this out of the park, and didn’t just popup to the catcher.

In closing, if you’re looking for a hitter who spent last season in rookie ball with a real shot to hit top 100 lists by mid-season 2018, take a look at Baddoo.

 

Find all of the 30 Minor League Previews, and Offseason Rankings on the Minor League Index
On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

   
  1. Eddy Almaguer says:
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    Ha! I love that you scooped him in your draft first because I did the same exact thing when I wrote up a Baddoo sleeper post on FakeTeams in late October. I picked him up from the pool and posted it. One of my leaguemates saw the article, got excited and saw that I had just picked him up before realizing I was the one who wrote it. He was really salty and it felt wonderful.

    As you might have guessed, I’m so with you on Baddoo. His approach at the plate at that age completely won me over. Hoping he carries some of his current plus-plus speed into a good chunk of his early MLB career before falling off. And I don’t think his hit tool gets much credit. I got him as 50 hit, 30 power, 70 speed right now. And with the current run environment, anything can happen with power.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Eddy Almaguer: Hey Eddy! Thanks for popping in, I actually saw your post a couple of weeks back. Great stuff! I too think his hit tool is underrated, and really how are we not factoring in plate approach to hit tool grades at this point, Amirite?

      I think he can develop 20 homer pop, based on some of the batting practice tape I’ve seen, plus his athletic frame. Hope the speed sticks around long enough to get a few 5 cat contributing seasons from him.

      Thanks for stopping by! Stay in touch I’ll get you involved in some of my dynasty leagues and mocks this off-season.

      • Eddy Almaguer says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        For sure, shoot me over any info when something pops up.

  2. Darren says:
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    As always, good stuff my fellow Masshole.
    Ugh, I recommended him to my cousin last year. He’s now out of the league, and I’m hoping the new owner drops him in prep for our rookie draft. It’s certainly plausible, also contemplating making a trade offer!
    20 team league w 30 minor league spots, perfect league to have him!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Darren: Southcoast represent!

      Go get him Darren Baddoo is your birthright!

      • Darren says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Trying man! Tough when guys don’t always respond promptly in what some perceive as the offseason.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Darren: It’s a killer! How am I supposed to rob them! LOL

  3. Jose says:
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    How about a couple NL sleepers.
    I like Ortiz, but I don’t think he is a sleeper anymore.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: Sorry, there’s so many AL sleepers I like right now. I’ll dig in on some for you. Jhailyn is a consideration, but he might not truly be a sleeper.

  4. Jose says:
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    @Ralph Lifshitz:
    I have this list for my next draft to begging 2018:
    3B Austin Riley (Need a 3B to replace David Wright)
    C Keibert Ruiz (Love this kid. Ted Simmons 2.0)
    P Sixto Sanchez (future ace pitcher)
    P Michel Baez (very good pitcher)
    ___________________________________________
    OF Taylor Trammell (5 tools player)
    OF Jhailyn Ortiz (Sluger heading to Citizens Bank Park)

    I hope to grab the top four if they are still available to me in the first draft and the other two about a month or two later.

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Took too long to compose my reply. You beat me to it !!

      • Jose says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:
        I actually have your two lists book marked, but I was going more by needs and fear of loosing them. I was surprised that so many of them were still available. On my other league Baez and Sixto are gone already and I took Ruiz at the end of the year.

        I actually need more pitching in that league, on this one I have Kersha and Scherzer as co-Aces and Urias, Reyes and Buehler coming this year, but you never have too much pitching.

        I will listen to you and change my priorities.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jose: If that’s the case go Sixto and Baez. I like Baez more but Sixto has the hype behind him. Your team needs supersede any ranking IMO.

          • Jose says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: Here is the team that need the pitching, with most of the good ones gone already:

            P Jon Duplantier
            P Corbin Burnes
            P Adrian Morejon
            OF Taylor Trammell
            OF Jhailyn Ortiz
            3B Austin Riley

            What is your opinion on this pitchers?

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @Jose: I’d swap Morejon and Burnes in terms of real life value. Burnes offers more short term value in my eyes.

    • Another Dan says:
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      @Jose:

      In October Ralph had them ranked Trammell, Baez, Sanchez, (all top 50) Ortiz, Ruiz, Riley (top 100). But Riley did have a good/great Arizona Fall league.

      Assuming this is a dynasty league with a reasonable number of spots available for prospects, I would doubt Trammel will be available after your draft (pipeline has him ranked 67 so he’s not a sleeper).

      I guess it depends on settings. Ralph is very conservative on his ranking of pitchers due to all the issues that can affect young pitchers and in a lot of leagues pitchers are inherently less valuable. In my league (7×7) a SP can only contribute to 5 of the cats, whereas a batter contributes to 7. It’s not deep and so I often stream pitchers anyway. My MiLB roster of 25 has often only had 1 or 2 pitchers on it. That extra batter, if he pans out, can be traded for pitching anyway.

      I’ve found myself with far too many catching prospects on my mild roster too. What size ian your league? One of mine is 12 team, why am I worried about holding catching prospects in a 12 teamer ?

      My two pence (cents to you guys).

      Another Dan

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Another Dan: Two pence!!!! We don’t need more than one! OH wait, your Pence is money!

        I’d bump Riley up to above Oritz now.

        • Another Dan says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz:

          I am a Giants fan. I know 1 pence is worth very little.

          What’s your thoughts on Heliot Ramos ? Would a trade to the Marlins kill his value ? If the Giants do trade Beede, Shaw and Ramos (as rumours might suggest) for Stanton, do they have the worst system in MLB ?

          Just settling down to watch Champions League. Man Utd looked very good against Arsenal Saturday.

          Another Dan

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Another Dan: I meant the Pence in the VP seat! LOL.

            United looked like a beast, I love when they get up by two goals, they just park the bus and dare teams to try and score.

            I still like Ramos with the Marlins, park concerns are the same, only they might be more aggressive with his ETA>

      • Jose says:
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        @Another Dan: My leagues are Scoresheet. Which is like real baseball. We don’t have categories, we Wins and Loses like a major league team. They use the weekly stats that your players produced vs the stats that your opponent produced and play a simulated games. It is a lot fun. I have being playing it since 2005.

        we start with a 35 players players roster. You get to keep 13 players from the previous year, plus unlimited prospects. Each prospect takes a pick starting at 35, 34, 33 etc. Since I usually protect 8-10 prospects, plus my 13 keepers, that usually leaves me 12 to 14 picks to draft relievers and fill other holes as needed. Usually defense replacements and extra SP.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jose: I haven’t done those before but they sound great.

          • Jose says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            When we get an opening in one of my two leagues I am going to invite you to join us, that way I can help you with some of the different league rules.

        • Another Dan says:
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          @Jose:

          Sounds interesting.

          Guess pitching is more important in that setup compared to mine.

  5. Another Dan says:
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    Maitan to Angels.

    Does it change anything ?

    Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Makes the Angels improving farm system now in the conversation for top 10. I’m split on whether Maitan or Severino are better at this point.

  6. Matthew Baumer says:
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    Shouldnt we have known based solely on his name that he would be a stud? I am so stupid for not picking him up.

    Anyways, thanks for dominating this offseason.

    I know you love Colton Welker. I have an aging team and this is likely my last year in 15 team dynasty (30mlb/20milb) to score in the money. The guy who owns Jay Bruce wants Wander Javier and Colton Welker for Bruce. Aside from the fact that he is Jay Bruce, would you hold on to your prospects in this case.

    Thank you

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