Jackie Bradley Jr.
A year ago, I would have considered it blasphemous to hypothesize a trade involving Jackie Bradley Jr. He was a top 25 MLB prospect in the eyes of some scouts, drawing raves first and foremost for game changing defensive ability. We saw that in action in 2014, as he finished the season as a Gold Glove finalist who arguably deserved the award more than the chosen player Adam Jones. What we did not see, was the advanced plate discipline, and above average hit tool that scouts also raved about.
Instead fans were treated to one of the worst offensive performances not just on the team, but in the majors. Highlighted by a .198 batting average and sub .300 OBP and SLG, Bradley was anything but the Jacoby Ellsbury replacement that fans envisioned he would be. Bradley forced the hand of the Red Sox front office, and $72 million man Castillo was brought aboard as contingency. But then Betts too proved his mettle in the final month of the season, seemingly playing his way into a spot in the 2015 lineup. It is too early to close the book altogether on Bradley, and as a stud defender at a premium defensive position, it seems probable that someone is willing to take a chance on the 24-year-old.