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."