Jackie Bradley Jr. seemed like it was a long time ago when he was lighting up spring training, capturing Red Sox fans’ attention as an up-and coming prospect. Although it’s only been two years, so much has occurred in his short career.
Bradley, now 25, was alternating between Pawtucket and Boston in 2013 and 2014. Bradley struggled tremendously at the plate. He hit below.200 in both MLB seasons and struck out in only 25% of his at bats. He played centerfield well, as did everyone in baseball. However, his offensive struggles made it impossible for the organization not to keep him at the major league level.
With the signings of Hanley Ramirez and Rusney Castillo, the Red Sox gained outfield depth. Mookie Betts was also born. Bradley is now a secondary player.
Don’t forget to keep him in your thoughts.
Bradley has made adjustments to the position of his hands and his swing. His hard work has paid off so far in 2015. Although it is easy to see his average for the first season of.357, you can tell he is hitting better. However, these adjustments have proven themselves beyond the numbers.
Saturday afternoon Bradley threw out two fastballs from the inside for hits. One was a groundball to the right and the other was a shot in the middle. Although it doesn’t seem like much, these were the pitches he struck out last season. He has not been locked up by them and made contact to put the ball in play. He has been able to hit better and his strikeout rate has dropped by about 10%.
Manager Kevin Boles stated that there are fewer moving parts in his swing. He has improved pitch recognition and his lower half is well established. He does a lot of good things right now.”
Bradley will never be a great MLB hitter but he will always be an excellent defender. His glove is game-changing and he is a valuable centerfielder. Even if his average is.235 to.250, it would still be enough for him to make the big league roster. This adjustment may help him achieve that goal.