Kernels' Baddoo collects four knocks

Twins No. 11 prospect triples twice, falls homer shy of cycle

Akil Baddoo ranks fifth in the Midwest League with a .408 on-base percentage. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | June 2, 2018 11:44 PM

Akil Baddoo has come close to hitting for the cycle twice. He didn't sound disappointed to miss out again Saturday.

The Twins' 11th-ranked prospect tied his career best with four hits, including a pair of triples, as Class A Cedar Rapids defeated Burlington, 7-5, at Community Field.


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Baddoo had two tries at the cycle but admitted he wasn't really thinking about it.

"Not really. Of course, it's cool, but at the same time, my job is squaring up the ball and hitting the ball hard and helping my teammates win," he said.

The 2016 supplemental second-round pick was hitting .229 (8-for-35) in his last 10 games but got off to a quick start. He doubled to left field leading off against right-hander Oliver Ortega (2-1) and scored on a single by Twins No. 6 prospect Alex Kirilloff.

Baddoo, a plus runner according to scouts, bunted for a hit in the second, although he ended up getting picked off. He said the bunt was part of a plan.

"They'll play the shift on me, but I wanted them to know I can still get the bunt down," he said. "It's an opportunity to use my speed."

In the fourth, the left-handed hitter laced the first of his two triples, a drive that eluded center fielder Spencer Griffin. In his first try for the cycle, the former Georgia prep star struck out in the seventh, but he tripled again in the eighth on a line drive to right. He said he did not try to hit a home run in that final at-bat.

"I'm just more of staying through the ball," he said. "If it goes out, that's good, but I'm sticking with the same approach. [Trying to hit home runs], that's what gets people in trouble."

Baddoo had plenty of help Saturday from the Twins' prospect-laden Midwest League affiliate. Kirilloff singled twice, walked and drove in a run, No. 23 prospect Ben Rortvedt doubled, singled and drove in two runs and Trey Cabbage homered and plated a pair.

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Left-hander Bryan Sammons (2-3), an eighth-round pick last June, got the win after allowing two runs and four hits over six innings. He struck out eight. Jovani Moran fanned five over the final 2 1/3 frames for his second save.

The Bees totaled six hits, with four coming from Franklin Torres, who raised his average 17 points to .256 with a double and three singles.

Baddoo, meanwhile, hopes his big night puts him back on track. Despite his recent funk, he's still getting on base at a .408 clips, thanks to his selectivity.

"I have always had a good eye for pitches," he said. "I've always had the plate discipline, I just really can recognize pitches. That's one of my best tools."

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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