For all the turmoil the Boston Red Sox have endured this season, there have been certain bright spots.
Outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. has been one of them.
A first-round pick in the 2011 first-year player draft, Bradley is well-known for his defensive prowess. Baseball America selected this speedster as the best defensive outfielder in the Red Sox organization in 2011.
But it has been what Bradley has been able to achieve with the lumber this season that is beginning to turn heads.
A sweet-swinging left-handed hitter, Bradley is batting a scorching .379 for the Salem Red Sox of the Class-A Advanced Carolina League.
This 22-year-old South Carolina native has 47 hits, three home runs and 24 RBI to accompany 11 stolen bases. More impressive, Bradley’s OPS is 1.078 and slugging percent is .581.
During the past 10 games, Bradley has crushed the baseball. He is hitting .429 over this stretch with 15 hits in 35 at-bats.
Defensively, Bradley has had an uncharacteristically rough stretch of glove work while playing outfield for Salem this spring. With four errors in 34 games, Bradley still has ways to go to master his craft at this position.
But looking big picture, Bradley is showing signs of becoming an excellent ballplayer for the Red Sox organization.
For a team that already boasts a healthy youth movement in Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava and Jose Iglesias, having a budding star like Bradley should give Red Sox nation hope for a bright future.
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