Jackie Bradley Jr. Hitting Well in Pawtucket

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Although it is only seven games into the season, something seems a little bit different about PawSox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. this season— he is hitting well.
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Starting off this season in the Minors for the first time since 2012, the outfielder is swinging a hot bat, regardless of the sample size. To date, he has 35 at-bats on the year and has collected 13 hits (.371 average) with four doubles and a jackie bradley jr.walk. He leads the team in total bases with 17.

Sure, this is based off of a small sampling, but any signs of life from Bradley at the plate could pay off in a huge manner for the Red Sox this season. Defensively, he probably should have won the Gold Glove last year, but at the plate he had quite the slump in the summer months.
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With Rusney Castillo day to day, the right-handed Bradley—who hits lefty—could find himself with a huge advantage granted that the only thing Castillo has yet to do is play on an every day basis. If Bradley is able to keep stringing hits together like his early scouting reports indicated, he could leave the Boston Red Sox with some tough decisions to make.

The Red Sox will need to see more than eight games from Bradley before they call him up given that he is a lifetime .196 hitter in 164 big league games. If he continues to do what he is doing, or close to it for a month or so, and Castillo cannot keep up, then Bradley might just force his way up to Boston.
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Of course injuries could help Bradley’s case as a call-up as well, but it seems unlikely that they will call him up to do anything less than play on an everyday basis. After all, he still has a few more days before he turns 25.

What to do with Jackie Bradley Jr.

jbjAfter finishing the 2014 season hitting below the Mendoza Line, it appears as though Jackie Bradley Jr. will not be starting in center field for the Boston Red Sox season.

Yes, he is the best defensive center fielder in the game and yes, he finished the year hitting .198 and yes, this was his second shot to prove his worth.
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Still though, his 2.0 WAR on defense, committing just one error in 125 games with a position-leading 13 outfield assists while turning eight double plays, makes it hard to give up on him—yet.

Turning 25 years old next year, the lifetime .196 hitting in 479 big league at-bats has made his tragic flaw clear—he struggles against big league pitching.

Regardless, Bradley is an above-average base runner with good instincts in the base paths meaning he could definitely steal double digit bases in a year. Not only this, but he has the makeup of a solid pinch-runner.
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His defense could make the difference late in the game when Boston has a small lead, making him the ideal defensive replacement. Able to cover a great deal of range while owning a cannon of an arm, he has the versatility to play all three outfield spots, making him an even more appealing option.

If he does indeed need to start, he needs to bat ninth. Hitting a career .218/.288/.331 as a number nine hitter in over 300 at-bats, Bradley has made it clear this is where he is most comfortable hitting. Not to mention he would have to hit less in this slot as well.
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In a game were versatility plays dividends, perhaps Bradley could serve a valuable role as a bench player. He has the makeup of a defensive replacement as well as a pinch runner, making him an appealing option to any team.

A big bonus would be if he could get his bat to come around. He was hitting about .230 before he hit a major slump. If he could consistently hit .230 and play flawless defense, there is no doubt he could start at the big league level.