Part of his recent success can also be attributed to an aggressive approach he began working on in spring training. Bradley has come to realize that sometimes the best pitch he’s going to see when he steps to the plate is the first one, so he prepares himself to be ready to swing if it’s coming straight down the middle. It’s a plan that worked to perfection in Saturday night’s 8-0 victory over the New York Yankees, when Bradley went 3-for-3 with a pair of triples and a double.
"“All three pitches that I hit tonight were right down the middle,” said Bradley after the game. “Normally, if I’m not ready for that pitch, or I’m straight taking, I don’t get the opportunity to swing at those pitches. I want to make sure that I’m in a ready position to put some good swings on balls in the zone.”"
By being aggressive early, Bradley avoids falling behind in the count. While the approach can limit the number of walks he can draw, it’s also helping to cut back on his strikeouts. Last season Bradley struck out in 27.8 percent of his plate appearances, but that number has been cut to 24.4 percent so far this season. When Bradley is able to make hard contact, good things tend to happen. He’s still learning to lay off bad pitches, but he’s no longer letting good ones pass him by in hopes that a better one might come along.
Next: Future All-Star?