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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Going back to old stance paying dividends for Jackie Bradley Jr.

He has to do something.

Bradley has changed the position of his front foot from a straight-on approach to more of an open stance — a noticeable change when the team arrived in Oakland. It’s seemed to work, as the outfielder is 6-for-20 on the trip.
What Bradley has done is essentially go back to the stance he employed until his first exposure to the major leagues in 2013. Bradley’s struggles at the big-league level at the beginning of last season — he went 3-for-31 to start his career — led to a closing of the stance.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2014 at 06:51 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jackie bradley jr, red sox

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4736379)
I am as big a fan of Jackie Bradley as you'll find, and his minor-league performance was way too good, and his head is on way too straight, for him to not get a lot better than he's been. Also, his defense is really excellent, he walks enough to matter, and in a season that is looking pretty lost, I am very happy they are sticking with him everyday.

All of that said, it's not like he is starting to light up the scoreboard. But he is not striking out much, and that suggests the difference in batting stance is helping him. I'm still bullish on him in the long run...
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4736385)
I'm with you. I'm not looking for a .300 hitter but a .250 hitter is just fine.

Bogaerts if freakin' me out. I really think he's hiding an injury since getting hit with a pitch in Cleveland.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 26, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4736969)
It's practically at the point where it can't hurt but not K'ing in 4 straight games is not something I'm putting much faith in. That's 0 Ks in 15 PA. He had a horrible stretch just a couple of weeks ago of 10 K in 16 PA. Remove both of those streaks and he's still got a 30% K-rate this year. His overall K-rate this year is the same as last year's.

On defense, both his Rfield and UZR have taken a big jump in the last few weeks -- he was something like +2 last time I looked, now he's +7. Yes, if he can provide that level of defense then he's already nearly league average (yes, somehow his putrid offense is only -11 Rbat) so minimal improvement with the bat (or on the bases) is all he needs.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4737039)
Going back to old stance paying dividends for Jackie Bradley Jr.

It's a $100,000 jackpot wad.
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4737045)
If he does not improve - if he puts up .211/.292/.302 or thereabouts this year, do the Sox feel "set" at CF going into next year?
   6. Sonic Youk Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4737102)
If he does not improve - if he puts up .211/.292/.302 or thereabouts this year, do the Sox feel "set" at CF going into next year?
Mookie Betts should be up sometime soon. Hes hitting 337/418/465 in AAA and hasn't been remotely challenged since being bitten by that radioactive spider early last year.

With Victorino out indefinitely, I guess the answer depends on what exactly those two do playing every day the rest of the year. Bradley could start the year on the bench next year, I suppose.

The silver lining with JBJs season is that he is on pace for something near 1.5 fWAR. That isnt good at all, but it does demonstrate that the floor for a guy who takes walks and plays great CF defense is at least something.
   7. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4737116)
Isn't Jackie Bradley Jr. the Martin Short smarmy talk show host character from SCTV?
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 27, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4737187)
No, Jackie Bradley Jr is the Martin Short albino Vegas entertainer character from SCTV.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 27, 2014 at 01:54 AM (#4737216)
Jackie Rogers Jr. is the Martin Short albino Vegas entertainer character from SCTV (and SNL). Sammy Maudlin was the primary smarmy talk show host from SCTV.
   10. ptodd Posted: June 27, 2014 at 03:14 AM (#4737230)
Why would you change the stance that got you to MLB right away w/o giving the old one a shot. Makes no sense. Not believing a word of it. Sounds like JBJ may be on the trade block and someone is inflating his value
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4737372)
I am confident in saying that JBJ is not on the trading block. His value in the trade market would be quite low.

It was said well in #6, above, and I'll tweak it a bit: If you are an excellent defensive CF, who can take some walks and costs under a million bucks, you're worth playing. He's going to get better than this - and, frankly, if the Red Sox don't play him, who would they be playing right now?

I think that next season's outfield will open with Betts/Bradley/Victorino, and that is going to be some crazy defense. I also think that, by the end of next year (2015), you'll find that Bradley has a very broad base of skills that make him surprisingly valuable. He won't hit a ton of HRs, but he'll hit 10, with a lot of doubles. His BA will be something like .260 - but he'll walk enough to have an OBP of .350. He won't steal 40 bases - but he'll steal 20 at a very high success rate. His glove and arm will be excellent. He'll be making a half-million bucks, and he'll be working hard to improve. That's a good baseball player, and it will allow the team to spend a lot of money in other areas (resign Lester, for example?)

   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4737392)
If he does not improve - if he puts up .211/.292/.302 or thereabouts this year, do the Sox feel "set" at CF going into next year?


With those numbers right now BBRef has him on pace for about 1.5 WAR for the season. For roughly league minimum salary that's fine for the Sox. Bradley's offensive struggles are made worse in the perception by failings of other players. If Pedroia and Bogaerts were hitting, if Victorino were healthy and Nava hadn't hit .130 for a month I think the Sox would be over .500, the offense would be more middle of the pack and Bradley's offense would be viewed as "hey, you make that trade off for elite defense."

Having said that I don't think the Sox would feel "set" with .210/.290/.300 as an expectation. I don't think that's the expectation though. This is a guy with a pretty solid minor league track record that looked ready to translate into a perfectly acceptable season. Even with the bad start Steamer projects .240/.320/.370 the rest of the season. That sounds reasonable to me. I get the K rate concerns, they are quite valid, but I'm not going to dismiss the numbers either in projection format or the minor league track record which does have predictive value typically.

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