Found March 27, 2013 on Boston's Bettah:
Jackie Bradley Jr. is an exciting prospect, but there are pros and cons if he starts in Boston Jackie Bradley Jr. may legitimately be the first truly exciting prospect that the Boston Red Sox have had since Jacoby Ellsbury or Dustin Pedroia first took the field in the Boston Red Sox uniform. He shares many of the same qualities that Jacoby Ellsbury possesses when he is having a good season. Bradley may not be as fast, but he gets on base and is a pretty good fielder combined with good to great speed. He has lit it up in the spring batting .444/.523/.667 with 11 RBI and 2 HR leading many to believe that he has won an opportunity to start the season at Boston. There are other aspects of the Jackie Bradley situation at play here, the most prominent one is the strange rules that allow the Red Sox to gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility if they wait until May to call him up the big-leagues. The other is the current loaded outfield of the Boston Red Sox which has numerous bodies looking to get at-bats and innings. We’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons. Pro: The Boston Red Sox need some excitement The only story that the Boston Red Sox fans have heard from Fort Myers besides David Ortiz’s increasingly terrible hips is the Jackie Bradley experience. Bradley swinging the bat well, Bradley hit a homerun off Cliff Lee, Bradley saved a kitten from a tree and then fed all the homeless in Fort Myers. If Jackie Bradley were to start in Boston, it would be the most exciting opening day in Boston since the super-team took the field in 2011, simply because the Jackie Bradley story has become so mesmerizing. Con: Incredibly weak outfield If Bradley starts at right or left field for the Boston Red Sox, the outfield will consist of him, Ellsbury, and newly signed free-agent Shane Victorino. Between them, the power numbers would be less than acceptable from an outfield. On top of that, where would the power come from the entire line-up? David Ortiz’s increasingly degenerative hips? Mike Napoli’s broken knees? Will Middlebrooks in year two? It sounds more and more like a team that gets on base but can’t push runs across. It’s a National League team without the pitching to compete for a division title. Not that we think there is more than a five percent chance that this team can compete for a World Series, but why handicap the team in that aspect of the game when there are options such as Jonny Gomes who have a little bit more pop? Pro: Major League Experience One of the things that Dustin Pedroia always claims helped his development was his first month in the majors. During that April in 2007, Dustin Pedroia played terribly as he learned the game. There was even talk that the Red Sox would send him back to Rhode Island to refine his game. They didn’t, and Pedroia lit it up in May and became the great player we know today. The chances that Jackie Bradley steps into the major-league lineup and performs like he did in the spring are slim to none. In fact, it is more than likely that he will struggle like Pedroia did. He will see true major-league stuff and be in the pressure of the Boston environment. Those struggles could help him though; with the right attitude, failure and experience could only make him better. Con: Scott Boras The devil himself, Scott Boras, is Jackie Bradley’s agent. For everyone thinking that Jackie Bradley Jr. will sign an extension before he hits arbitration, whenever that may be, just remember that Scott Boras has never ever ever allowed one of his clients to do that, ever. Any extra year of arbitration. Myself? I lean towards giving him his extra month in the minors. Yes, he is ripping up spring ball, but those extra years of having him could be vital down the line. The Red Sox are not sure fire contenders by any stretch of the imagination. The fans can wait an extra month, and when he comes up to Boston, it will be all the more fun.
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