Jackie Bradley Jr. Has Seen Noticeable Difference In New ‘Dead Balls’

'I think everyone can tell a difference'


One of the most polarizing conversations around Major League Baseball has regarded the new baseballs, which are apparently supposed to not travel as far, resulting in more balls in play.

While the idea of straying away from the home run or strikeout approach that far too many hitters apply in this era of baseball makes sense, the “dead” baseballs created an adverse effect on the game.

Offense was down across the league to start the season, making for a worse overall product that involved even fewer balls put in play than before. While the summer air appears to have helped matters, the effect of the “dead balls” has not been erased according to most around the league.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is the latest to speak out, though he does not think hitters are making many adjustments.

“Honestly I think guys are just swinging their swing,” Bradley told NESN’s Tom Caron on the “TC & Company Podcast” on Wednesday. “The ball is going to be the ball. I know there’s been a couple times where not only I, but other of my teammates, have hit certain balls and they’re like ‘Wow, I hit that pretty good.’ And normally you hit a ball pretty good, you can kind of judge your distances.

“I’ve felt like I’ve hit a couple balls that would normally be homers or at least a lot closer and they may be caught on the warning track or just before the warning track. We can tell a difference. I think everyone can tell a difference across the league. But what can you do?”

Bradley has just one home run in 189 at-bats this season, far below his career pace of 33 at-bats per home run. He should have at least five home runs based on his typical pace.

To hear the full conversation about the dead balls, multiple golf stories as well as some talk about Bradley’s new hitting approach and more, check out the latest episode of the “TC & Company Podcast” on iTunes or Spotify.

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