Friday, May 15, 2015

Rumors, Praise and Questions about Jackie Bradley's Future with Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. is back up with the Red Sox where has been used mainly as a fourth outfielder since his call up, in 8 at bats he has yet to get a hit. Dating back to last season, he is now 0 for his last 26. Not good. He did have a solid offensive spring with a new shortened swing and in Pawtucket he was hitting .343 with an .857 OPS. He still needs to prove he can hit at the MLB level though


JBJ was called back up to the majors as the Sox were facing the Blue Jays. John Gibbons, manager of the Blue Jays, raved about Bradley calling him the best defensive center fielder he has ever seen play. JBJ was up for the Gold Glove last year but didn't get it. Ironically, many feel he deserved it but his bat kept him from winning it. Gold Gloves are not always given to the best defensive players. It is more of a popularity contest. Derek Jeter is proof of that. Bradley turned 13 double plays from the outfield last year, next closest was 5. He also had 18 assists. Those are mind boggling numbers. His .180 batting average is just as mind boggling though.

His defensive prowess has many wondering why the Sox don't put him in center field when he enters the game. John Farrell explained that JBJ is not going to be a full time starter and he doesn't want to move around Mookie Betts who starts in center field. Betts is a decent defensive center fielder but he is still learning and there have been a few balls he didn't get to that JBJ would have.

Does Bradley have a future with the Red Sox? With Betts and Rusney Castillo, it doesn't look good. Will JBJ be better off with a change in scenery? Very possible. The latest rumor had the Sox offering him to the Mariners for Charlie Furbush of the Mariners. It is clear that JBJ makes an impact on the defensive side, if he can prove he can it, he will be a force in MLB just like he was in college with the Gamecocks.



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