Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Will Middlebrooks are three players who are essential parts of the team’s future. All three might have given the Red Sox a glimpse of what the future may hold for each player in the team’s opening series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Bogaerts hit safely in his first three games of the season. Bogaerts also made key defensive plays throughout the series, including a play that forced a big out at second base with the Orioles threatening in a 4-3 game in the eighth inning
Bradley had a disappointing game-ending strikeout in game one of the series, but he was able to put that behind him. In his first start of the season, 23-year-old outfielder collected two hits, including an RBI single into center field. Bradley also scored Boston’s second run on a hustle play in the third inning, hustling all the way from first base on David Ortiz’s blooper to left field.
Bradley lost the center field competition to Grady Sizemore, but made the Opening Day roster once outfielder Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list. With the Sox expected to give Sizemore days off every few days, expect Bradley to get more opportunities to prove he can become a productive major league player.
Middlebrooks broke an 0-for-8 slump to start the season by going 2 for 4 with a single and a double in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively. This is an encouraging sign because Middlebrooks struck out three times in the first two games. He gave fans flashbacks to last season, when the 25-year-old third baseman was sent down to the minors because he struggled offensively for most of the season.
While it is only a small sample, Bogarts, Bradley, and Middlebrooks all looked good at times during the first series of the season. It remains to be seen if they can continue with the same success throughout the season, but their play has to be comforting to Red Sox fans everywhere.