It’s not often that a player makes their major league debut on Opening Day. In fact, the last time it happened for the Red Sox was in 2001, with a young Shea Hillenbrand. That is, until Jackie Bradley, Jr. came around.
Bradley had an unbelievable spring training and landed himself a starting spot in left field on the Opening Day roster. He started out hot, and Boston fans loved him instantly, as they are so prone to do when things are going well. It was JBJ-mania.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
But then, because he was a 23-year-old kid who had skipped right past Triple-A into the majors, he fizzled out quickly, and was almost forgotten. Almost.
Bradley has been doing well since the Sox sent him down to Pawtucket. He’s hitting .276/.376/.496 with 34 extra-base hits in 61 games with Pawtucket this season. And before you point out that those aren’t the best numbers, they’re better than his .271/.373/.437 and 24 extra-base hits in 61 games with Double-A Po...