The Boston Red Sox will get a boost of youth this season, as Jackie Bradley Jr. has made the Opening Day roster.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports first reported the news via Twitter:
Red Sox make it official. Jackie Bradley Jr. on opening day roster— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) March 31, 2013
The 22-year-old prospect was rated No. 32 in baseball, as well as the team's No. 2 overall prospect, by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. This is certain to generate some excitement among the fans in Boston.
In 28 spring training games, Bradley batted an incredible .419 with two home runs and 12 RBI. He added four doubles and a triple for good measure.
While the outfielder has played only 61 games above A-ball, he has a great approach at the plate for his age that allows him to take pitches and have success when he makes contact. The Red Sox obviously believe this will translate to solid play at the major league level.
Bradley will start in the outfield alongside Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and Shane Victorino in right field to make a very formidable defensive trio.
Jonny Gomes, Bradley's main competition for a starting spot, will likely be the designated hitter while David Ortiz recovers from his heel injury.
Boston hopes that this will be enough to help it improve upon its 69-93 record from last season. In one of the toughest divisions in baseball, the Red Sox need all the help they can get.
At the very least, the youngster will certainly be exciting to watch as he begins his career.