Scouting Report, Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was taken 40th overall by the Boston Red Sox back in 2011. Bradley was an exciting player at the University of South Carolina where he displayed his tremendous defensive prowess in centerfield. After his first two seasons with South Carolina, Bradley Jr. seemed destined to be a middle of the first round pick in the 2011 amateur draft, but after a poor Junior season with the Gamecocks, he fell to the supplemental round as the 40th pick. In just over one professional season, Bradley Jr. has posted a .311/.423/.473 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line between Single-A+ and Double-A. At 23 years old, Bradley was a non-roster invitee for the Red Sox this spring and opened a lot of eyes in Boston’s camp. Heading into the spring, many executives within Boston expected Bradley would need another season or so in the minor leagues in order to polish his approach at the plate. However, this spring Bradley Jr. has batted .441/.521/.644 slash line with 2 homers and 12 RBI in 26 games. Defensively, Bradley Jr. possesses a strong-arm which is made even better by a quick release. He can certainly stick to playing centerfield in the big leagues because of his range and strong-arm. Offensively, he has good contact skills that should allow him to hit near .300 at the big league level. Bradley Jr. has a tendency to get a little long with his swing, which leaves him exposed to inside pitching; this is something he must fix or else Major League pitchers will continuously pound him inside. His size and swing limit his power projections as it seems likely his home run potential will remain around 10 homers a year. Also, Bradley Jr. has above average speed and projects at about 15-20 steals per season. After his monster spring, many are speculating that Bradley Jr. will begin the season at the Major League level with the Red Sox. It would make more sense for the Red Sox to demote him for at least the first 7 days of the season in order to delay the start of his service clock and by waiting for the 8th day of the regular season, the Red Sox can delay his free agency by one year to 2018. However, all indications point to Bradley Jr. beginning the season with the Red Sox because he was on the team plane to New York where they will begin their season facing the Yankees.

Anthony Cacchione

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