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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Finding a Fit for Jackie Bradley Jr.

While it’s certainly a good thing to enter free agency on a high note like that, Bradley has a multitude of problems working against him. The most obvious one is the sample size of his recent success. Teams are similarly wary of spending on a player who had a a better-than-expected 2020 after a mediocre ’19 as they are when it comes to a player like Odorizzi, who missed most of the shortened follow-up to a strong campaign.

Beyond that, Bradley’s actual production was well ahead of what his quality of contacts suggest. His 88.3 mph average exit velocity was just 0.1 mph better than his career low from 2017 and placed in the 40th percentile, and both his career-low 36.1% hard hit rate (34th percentile) and 7.6% barrel rate (47th percentile) were below average as well. The gap between his actual stats and his expected ones (.230 xAVG, .376 xSLG) was massive. He hit the ball on the ground with more frequency than ever before, setting career extremes with his 53.1% groundball rate and his 4.4 degree average launch angle; among batters who saw at least 500 pitches last year, the 48-point gap between his .347 wOBA and .299 xwOBA placed him in the 97th percentile. In other words, the slash line he put up isn’t sustainable without much stronger contact.

Bradley’s second major problem is that his defense, while still chockfull of spectacular plays, isn’t what it used to be

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:00 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jackie bradley, jr.

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   1. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6007483)
I think JBJ is a case of a guy being hurt by his initial ask. As a rule I'm a fan of shooting the moon in negotiations but I think you have to come with some degree or reality and as much as I love Jackie Bradley he wasn't getting a 4-5 year deal. I think teams probably saw that ask and said "nope, not going to waste my time."

Having said that I'm a bit surprised he's still unemployed. I've got to think some of the teams mentioned in the piece are offering one year deals and I'd bet he can get a two year deal if he wants too. As noted by FG there are teams that could use him (I'd love him back in Boston for a year or maybe even two) and unless he's still sticking to a 3+ deal ask he should be employed somewhere.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6007485)
Bradley to the Cubs on a fairly cheap 1-year "prove it" contract would have made a lot of sense but probably too late for that since the Cubs signed Marisnick ... and Bradley might be able to find a better prove-it fit anyway. Given I thought Bradley had already signed with the Mets I'm probably not the best guy to speculate where that best fit is right now.
   3. Astroenteritis Posted: March 03, 2021 at 05:10 PM (#6007513)
I would have been happy to see the Astros sign him, but it looks like they are serious about giving Myles Straw a chance at the CF spot. To those who have seen him play a great deal recently, has Bradley's defense really declined?
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 03, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6007524)
To those who have seen him play a great deal recently, has Bradley's defense really declined?

yes, it's declined from his peak but still well above average
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:02 PM (#6007525)
The Royals have longed loved him and I bet they would have signed him had he accepted a reasonable 2 year offer, but I'm sure his early demands scared them away and they went with Michael Taylor and Andrew Benintendi instead.
   6. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6007527)
The Royals have longed loved him and I bet they would have signed him had he accepted a reasonable 2 year offer, but I'm sure his early demands scared them away and they went with Michael Taylor and Andrew Benintendi instead.


And now Jarod Dyson! They're going to catch a lot of balls...at the dish, not too good...
   7. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: March 03, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#6007573)
According to ESPN something called 'Daniel Johnson' is the Indians right fielder. JBJ to the Tribe?

Also - does B-R not have Rfield numbers anymore? In fact, I don't even see dWAR. They're listing ****ing fielding percentage and not Rfield?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:26 AM (#6007584)
#7 -- you looking in the right spot? "Rfield" and dWAR have always only been in the player value table. The fielding table does hide Rfield as Rdrs for recent times (Bradley career +54 ... but -3 on TZ). Anyway, all there right now, maybe they were tweaking something when you looked at it.
   9. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 04, 2021 at 05:57 AM (#6007586)
To those who have seen him play a great deal recently, has Bradley's defense really declined?


It hasnt seemed like it to me. It seems that the metrics have never quite matched the perception of JBJ and I don’t know if there is a Fenway effect for center field like there is for left.
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:04 AM (#6007587)
2 years, $24 mill total, with an opt out after the 1st year with Milwaukee.
   11. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:08 AM (#6007588)
That sounds about right. Good for him.
   12. DL from MN Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:10 AM (#6007590)
The Pirates could probably use him. There are AAA teams with more players I recognize than the current Pirates roster.
   13. Jay Seaver Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:35 AM (#6007593)
The "Killer B" outfield just completely gone in roughly a year's time. Unreal.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: March 04, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6007683)
The "Killer B" outfield just completely gone in roughly a year's time. Unreal.

To be fair, that was an Assassin in RF and two above-average but fairly standard goons.
   15. Jay Seaver Posted: March 04, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6007694)
Maybe. We sure did feel pretty good about anything hit in the air being caught, though.

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