Another of the current Red Sox stars who came up during the 2013 season, Jackie Bradley bounced between Boston and Pawtucket until 2014 when he spent the bulk of the season in the major leagues. From then on, he’s been the Red Sox center fielder and while his streaky hitting is certainly maddening, he more than makes up for it with his stellar defense.
Bradley is arguably the greatest defensive center fielder the Red Sox have ever had and he routinely makes difficult plays look easy. Unfortunately, he’s had the misfortune to play most of his career thus far in an era where there were several stellar defensive center fielders in the American League. That’s kept him at only one Gold Glove (in 2018) so far, although he’s a perennial finalist.
As for his hitting, it’s well-known how incredibly streaky he is at the plate. For stretches he can look like one of the best hitters in the league while during other stretches it seems as though he’ll never hit a baseball again. His career numbers are nothing spectacular: a .230 average with 91 home runs and 354 RBI in seven seasons between 2013 and 2019.
Still, he had a twenty-nine game hitting streak in 2016, was an All Star that same year, and won the ALCS MVP award in 2018 when he had two home runs and nine RBI while almost single-handedly beating the Astros in three of the games the Red Sox won in that series. He slots in perfectly in the nine spot of the order and with his incredible defense, has been a vital part of the Red Sox winning ways this decade.