Re: Are the Red Sox that Good Where Jackie Bradley, Jr. Shouldn't Be Starting the Season as the LF?
posted at 3/13/2013 12:19 PM EDT
After coming up on a tear JBJ came back down to earth and batted .274 in July and then .229 in august and then .000 in september. Ok to his credit he only took 2 at bats in september.
While still impressive, he noticably slowed down. Now you can say whatever you want about that, or about how he is hitting now but this is what a professional would tell you about his drop off last year. One of two things happened.
A.) pitchers in double a made adjustements to JBJ, and that will happen at the next level (AAA) and the level above that (MLB) and he will struggle. At least for a while.
B.) Many many many players, most actually, struggle towards the end of their first full pro season. This is due to the fact that they are playing every day, and playing a lot more games than they were ever used to college. So their bodies need a few seasons to get used to the MLB season.
The truth is, Bradley probably experienced a bit of both last year. And it is very encouraging that he has had such an amazing spring. But please lets not let that make us want to jump the gun. This happens with EVERY prospect in Boston. We always assume that success in the minors will 100% automatically right away translate to success at the MLB level. And we have been spoiled over the years with guys like Ellsbury who come up and perform like a star right away....that just doesn't normally happen.
There is less harm in starting him off in Pawtucket. which is still a promotion from the year before, and he will be on the fast track to the bigs. Also you get another year out of him and start the arby clock later. Now those of you who say you don't care about that arby clock and that it is a weak argument I have two points for you. First of all, most MLB players do not perform overly well in their first year and guys like Harper are the exception not the norm. Having one more year of Bradley in his prime is worth something. Like it or not, this is a business and you have to think not just about next year or the year after that, but 5 years down the road as well. And there is substantial value in the years of team control an organization has. Secondly I think that is secondary, I think that is an added benefit to letting him finish his development which is the most important thing. So that wouldn't sway may opinion even if you could prove there was no added benefit from a a business perspect over the next half decade.
If Bradley starts the season with Boston, and wins Rookie of the year then I will not only eat crow, but I will be extremely happy to do so. I just don't think it's going to happen in my opinion (at least not out of camp) and it is in my opinion that we let him finish his development.