Niko Goodrum was a skinny kid when the Twins selected him in the second round in 2010 as a shortstop. They were betting on the future, as they looked at his burly father and hoped that Niko would fill out into a fine athlete.
He hit a career high 13 home runs last season at Class AAA Rochester. He also made his major league debut with the Twins, going 1-for-17 late in the season. He left the organization after the season and hooked on with the Tigers. And, because of injuries, he is getting a chance to play.
Heck, on Tuesday, he batted fifth in the lineup. On Wednesday, he was the cleanup hitter.
And on Wednesday, he hit his fifth home run of the season to help the Tigers beat the Twins. He looks more confident at the plate and swings with evil intentions. You end up rooting for someone like Goodrum because it looked like he would never get a chance to play in the majors. But he's taking advantage of the opportunity at age 26.
La VELLE E. NEAL III