Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
This is an interesting one.
Jackie Bradley Jr. stole the show this spring and earned a spot on the Opening Day roster, becoming the first Red Sox rookie to make his major league debut in the season opener since Shea Hillenbrand did so in 2001.
Even more impressive, Bradley did it after compiling just 615 plate appearances in the minors (none at Triple-A).
While his astronomical leap from Double-A Portland to the Boston Red Sox surprised many, it did not surprise Bradley as Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com noted:
When (John Farrell) broke the news to (Bradley) that he was officially on the team, while the team was airborne from Florida to New York, Farrell said Bradley took it in stride.
It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with Bradley once David Ortiz returns from the disabled list. Ortiz is currently rehabbing from an Achilles injury he suffered last season. As a result, Bradley is manning left field while outfielder Jonny Gomes is filling in at DH.
But the “JBJ” era, might be coming to an end for now. His debut with the big-league team was out of necessity. Had it not been for Ortiz’s injury, Bradley may still be in the minors.
For the Red Sox, it would be beneficial to send Bradley to the minors once Ortiz returns. If he remains at the major league level without spending 20 days in the minors this season, he will hit free agency a year early in 2018.