It seems as if we have been talking about Jackie Bradley Jr. for three straight seasons and been continuously disappointed.
Not this year.
All the Jackie Bradley Jr. supporters, please stand up.
In 50 games this season, JBJ is hitting a cool .306, with 8 home runs and 36 RBIs. Prior to this season, Bradley had hit collectively 4 home runs and drove in 40 RBIs, while hitting .196 over 2 seasons of MLB service.
But what has been the reason for the sudden turn around in his game?
The simple answer may surprise you.
If you watch Bradley in 2013 or 2014, you will see a "toe tip," or the act of slightly raising your lead foot, while barely lifting your toes off the ground prior to contact. Many hitters will experiment with this if they are trying to hit for contact rather than power. Check out Bradley's swing from 2013 below.
Many players experiment with this method of hitting, and it does work for some players. However, everyone's swing and approach at the plate is different. This past year, JBJ completely changed his swing and now fully lifts his leg up, similar to Hanley Ramirez (gross) and David Ortiz. Check it out.
While JBJ changed his swing and is arguably the hottest hitter on the team right now, he is going to come back down to earth. I mean, there is no way that he can hit +.300 over an entire season, right?
Jackie Bradley has a far way to go, but the organization, specifically Dave Dombrowski, is behind him (I think, but who knows). If he can hit .260-.275 his arm and defensive ability more than makes up for his lackluster offense. But at this point, who knows what he will look like in 2016.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS