Sep 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielderJackie Bradley
Jr. (25) at Kauffman Stadium. Boston won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Poor Jackie! Often the forgotten man in this discussion, he ended up being last in this one, as well.
Does anyone in Red Sox Nation still remember the catch seen above, against the Kansas City Royals? If not, it’s likely due to a number of factors, including Betts’ diving catches and solid play at the plate. While having Bradley as a lefty bat in the lineup would normally help on paper, he only hit .198 in 384 at-bats, last season.
His power was not nearly as effective as Betts, or even the other Red Sox outfielders, for that matter. Bradley earned a .265 OBP and a .266 SLG, making him a slugger opposing pitchers have no trouble challenging.
Why fear a bat that cannot drive the ball deep? Why cower over a player who struck out 121 times? He only walked 31 times in 423 plate appearances. Combine that with his low batting average, Bradley proved more to be a guaranteed out than anything else.
It was an amazing catch, but don’t expect Jackie Bradley Jr. to be starting or even appearing for the Red Sox in any capacity, unless he has an unbelievable March. Six weeks to prove that he can hit more than three thousandths of a percent higher than his weight (195 lbs). Likely, if not used in a trade package, Bradley will be sent to the minors to regain the form that led the Boston brass to call him up in 2013.