March 31, 2013

Jackie Bradley Makes the Cut, Opening Day Roster Is Set

It's official.

Jackie Bradley, Jr., the top story of spring training with an electrifying .419/.507/.613 batting line, has been placed on the 25-man roster and will make his major league debut on Opening Day tomorrow at Yankee Stadium III.

Mike Andrews of Sox Prospects recently took a look at Boston's outfield prospects and had this to say about Bradley, who turns 23 on April 19:
"Bradley, 22, has been a tour de force this spring, and the hype would lead you believe that he's a slam dunk to be enshrined in Cooperstown. While that may not be the case, Bradley is an outstanding prospect that profiles as a long-term everyday center fielder for a first division club, and possibly an occasional All-Star. On offense, he has an advanced approach, plus bat speed, a smooth swing plane, slightly below-average power, and slightly above-average speed. He still has some areas to develop, but at this stage he looks like a player who could hit .290 with 12-15 home runs and 15 stolen bases per year. He's also quite polished defensively, projecting as a plus-to-elite center fielder. Bradley has strong instincts, makes excellent jumps, has a plus arm, and above-average range. Ultimately, he should be a permanent fixture in the Red Sox outfield over the long-haul, even if he bounces back-and-forth between Boston and Pawtucket in 2013."
The Opening Day roster:

Catchers: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross

Infielders: Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Iglesias, Will Middlebrooks, Pedro Ciriaco

Outfielders: Jackie Bradley Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava, Mike Carp

Starting Pitchers: Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront, John Lackey

Relievers: Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Clayton Mortensen
More good news: GM Ben Cherington says in terms of total talent in the minor leagues, the Red Sox farm system is "as deep as it's been since I've been involved, going back to 2002, 2003 when I first got started in player development".

Alex Speier's "Jacoby Ellsbury And The Gap Between Perception and Reality" examines how the media's portrayal of Ellsbury as a soft player stands up to the truth demonstrated throughout his career.

Gordon Edes offers some tidbits from the 2013 Red Sox media guide including this one: "With John Farrell as manager in 2011, the Blue Jays were undefeated in 11 extra-inning games at home. The Jays were the first team since 1901 to win at least 10 extra-inning games at home without a loss."


Jere said...

My mom calls him Mr. Excitement since that was Jackie Wilson's nickname and Bradley is named after Wilson.

Joe Gravellese said...

What do we anticipate the batting order looking like tomorrow?

laura k said...

Mr. Excitement, that's great!

As much as it's exciting that he's up, I'd rather he was continuing to develop and playing every day. It seems like a short-sighted move based on marketing instead of serious player development.

Also, thank you Alex Speier.

allan said...

Hey, Joe!! Probably something like:

Ellsbury, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, 1B
Middlebrooks, 3B
Gomes, DH
Saltalamacchia, C
Bradley, Jr., LF
Iglesias, SS

allan said...

Unless Bradley is setting the world on fire, he could go down when Ortiz comes back.

Zenslinger said...

Nice Ellsbury article. Man, the Providence coverage is so much better. What the hell are those clowns at the Globe even doing?

Joe Gravellese said...

Yeah, my guess is this is a short-time thing for Bradley. There's no way they let him spend considerable time on the bench. If he's not earning daily playing time, he'll go down.

I do think he earned this spot with his play in spring training. W/o papi, the Red Sox on paper look better to me with Bradley in LF and Gomes at DH than with Gomes in LF and.........David Ross? Nava? at DH.

This also could be an attempt to catch some lightning in a bottle from a kid who's going to be playing with a lot of energy and who opponents don't have much of a book on. We're probably going to need some of that from different players throughout the year in order to contend for a playoff spot.

9casey said...

Or he could be Mike Trout? This is a good thing, if we are not going to be that good let him develop here. I hope he stays all season why send him down when Ortiz gets back. Just because they have to pay Victorino and Gomes. I would rather see Bradley than either of those 2. And my cable doesn't carry Pawsox games....

allan said...

@Sean_McAdam: Per Red Sox PR: At 22, Jackie Bradley Jr would be youngest Red Sox Opening Day starter in LF since Yaz in 1961 & 1962, his 1st 2 ML seasons

9casey said...

L, Jackie isnt a 18 year old kid. He spent three years in college and was the most outstanding player in the 2010 college world series. I dont see this as a marketing move at all. I believe they believe he is the best option for LF.

Mark said...

I hate the interleague games at the end of September. Someone is going to be out of the playoffs because the pitcher's spot came up at the wrong time in one of those games.
You can blame Gary Bettman for me missing various game threads through April.

laura k said...

9C, I know that. What can I tell you, I disagree with prevailing opinion on this one.

laura k said...

Unless Bradley is setting the world on fire, he could go down when Ortiz comes back.

That would be good. I'd be relieved.

allan said...

Jackie Bradley and "power shagging".

Can't wait to see him run down some balls in the LCF gap on Monday.

9casey said...

Chasing balls down? I will be surprised if that lineup hits Lester.