Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the best prospects in baseball, but by most accounts, he’s not quite ready to hang around in the big leagues. After a quick start to spring training, however, the young outfielder may be making things interesting in Red Sox camp.
Boston manager John Farrell was asked about Bradley Jr.’s chances of making the big league roster for Opening Day, and Farrell certainly didn’t rule it out. In fact, he seemed to indicate that the outfielder truly has a chance to make the roster out of camp.
“The best way to answer it, we didn’t have that as a strong possibility and we’re four games into the schedule he would be served well to get at-bats in the minor leagues before he comes up, but again he’s making a strong impression in camp,” Farrell said Tuesday, according to The Boston Globe.
Bradley had a fantastic game Monday in Dunedin where the Sox took on the Blue Jays. The outfielder reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with an RBI single.
“It’s going to be about how he fares against quality pitching as we go through camp,” Farrell added. “You’re finding out about the person from a maturity viewpoint. Is he going to handle adversity? We have to weigh all those things.”
Bradley will continue to get opportunities, especially as outfielder Shane Victorino — pegged for the everyday right fielder’s spot — gets set to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic soon. According to the Globe, Farrell indicated that Bradley will see some time in right field once Victorino leaves.
“Every time he’s stepped on the field he’s done something very positive,” Farrell said. “He’s sound fundamentally, takes great routes to balls and hits both left-handed and right-handed pitching. For a young player in camp he’s done a great job.”
Bradley leads the team in batting average through a handful of games. He’s 5-for-9 early on with four singles and a double and a run scored.