Jackie Bradley, Jr. Rises

images (2)What are the Boston Red Sox to do about their player who has performed the best this spring, Jackie Bradley, Jr.? Do they keep him with the big club or do they send him down to the minors?

Well I don’t think the Sox are going to be good, so I don’t think they should waste a year of service time. They should save it for next year when I think their talent level will be much better. Were they to surprise the pants off of me and be good and need to improve the outfield defense, or replace an injured outfielder, then they certainly should bring him up, but are they really going to be good? Probably not.

images (1)Despite his magnificent spring training numbers Bradley, Jr. has only played 61 games and had 271 plate appearances in above A ball. I think going to the big leagues after that little seasoning and switching positions not only to left, but to left in Fenway where his speed isn’t an asset, is a lot to ask for a kid who was playing in college in 2010.

He has certainly earned it and if I thought he was the difference in them making the playoffs or not I’d be all for it, but I don’t think the Red Sox would bat him in a position to be that sort of difference maker and we have already talked about how his defense would negated at least in home games.

The best analogy I can think of is, just because a kid can read a stop sign and recognize its meaning doesn’t mean the kid is ready to drive a car. Baseball is set up in a very specific way for a reason and more often than not when that system is bypassed the players suffer. I don’t think the Red Sox can handle the PR hit if Bradley, Jr. comes to the majors and hits .150. And sadly I think the Red Sox need to be horribly conscious of how the team on the field will affect the PR because interest in the club as a whole is stale right now as evidenced by poor ticket sales and the Sox giving the impression they are lowering concession prices.

imagesRed Sox fans are in a state of limbo as to what the reality of the on the field team can and will be in 2013. They seem to think that Jackie Bradley, Jr. can transform the Red Sox mediocre roster into a World Series contender. Jackie Bradley, Jr. is a good young player and could one day be a great major league talent, but while he is viewed as the hero the Red Sox deserve we better hope he can take it if he doesn’t turn out to be the hero Red Sox fans need him to be.

 

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