Red Sox alternate history: 2014-15
Mar 31, 2015; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jackie Bradley hits .280.
Bradley was the real deal and was a top ranked prospect. In spring training of 2013 Bradley forced his way into the lineup and then proceeded to play his way out of the lineup. No problem – just some more seasoning and we’ll have a future All-Star.
In 2014 the stat line sank even further and this season Bradley has gone 0-11 in two brief returns to Boston. Bradley is slashing .192/.266/.273 for his career. The upside is obvious – Bradley is an elite fielder. Bradley’s range, instincts, arm and defensive savvy is Gold Glove material. His bat is rubber and not wooden and that means failure.
The cost for Bradley’s offensive ineptness is an expenditure of 72.5M for Rusney Castillo. Castillo is or is expected to be what Bradley should be. A steady bat, excellent glove, good speed and the type of player that one could say is this generations Dwight Evans. Bradley succeeds, you would most likely see Castillo elsewhere. Or maybe not?