Jackie Bradley Jr. was on the fast track to the major leagues in the spring of 2013.
Bradley tore up the Grapefruit League, hitting .419 in 28 games, and forced his way onto the Red Sox Opening Day roster.
Since then, it’s all been downhill.
Bradley went on to hit .189 in only 97 at bats in 2013, and as the team’s starting center fielder in 2014, he hit a measly .198 in 384 at bats.
The Red Sox signed Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract last August, and prized prospect Mookie Betts burst onto the scene after his call-up with the team in July.
Bradley finds himself as the odd man out in the battle for center field with the addition of Castillo and the emergence of Betts.
“I’m just focusing on what I can control,” Bradley tells WEBN. “That’s getting ready for April when the real season starts, and I’m sure the other guys are as well.”
Bradley’s defense has never been questioned. He was a finalist for the Gold Glove for American League center fielders in 2014. It’s his offense that the question.
Bradley made some adjustments during the offseason to improve his swing, and he hopes he those adjustments pay off in the batter’s box.
“It’s just executing,” Bradley tells WEBN. “Staying consistent and forming good habits.”