Jackie Bradley Jr. Back With Red Sox: What Does it Mean?

It’s no secret that the Boston Red Sox season has been an utter catastrophe. Unfortunately, the same can be said for their outfield situation, which has just been flat out messy.

Eight different outfielders have graced the field for the Red Sox this year, and it has become a crapshoot at who’s out there on any given night.

With Dustin Pedroia headed to the DL and Rusney Castillo‘s recent demotion to Triple-A, the Red Sox have just brought back up Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple-A.

In Triple-A this year, JBJ has posted a line of .322/.398/.468. The Red Sox called him up back in May, but only for six games before being sent down for Rusney Castillo. Ironically, this time it’s the other way around.

The Red Sox could really use his glove in any of the three outfield positions, but could also really use his bat.

In 2013 and 2014, Bradley Jr. was termed the “centerfielder of the future” and was what Mookie Betts is now to the Sox. But due to his inconsistencies at the plate, he has been sent down to Pawtucket a few times.

In 2013, Bradley batted .189 in 37 games, and in 2014, he batted .198 in 127 games. What the numbers prove here is that it’s a big enough sample size to say that he seems to not be able to hit Major League pitching, which is a huge problem.

This may be JBJ’s last chance at Big-League playing time, or at least with the Red Sox that is, and it’s necessary he plays well. He’s arguably the best defensive outfielder in the MLB. If he could ever start to hit for numbers that are even remotely close to what he has this year in Triple-A, he could become one of the premier outfielders in all of baseball. If he is consistent at the plate, JBJ could be penciled in as a starter every single night.

If that happens, the Red Sox would most likely put him in right field, with Alejandro De Aza in left field and Betts in center. He’d be in right field due to the fact that it’s much harder at Fenway Park and he’s a much better fielder than De Aza.

That’s right ladies and gentleman: a team with a payroll of $150 million has a starting outfield consisting of a last-chance centerfielder who hasn’t been able to hit big-league pitching and a “one-year wonder” who’s with his second team this year. The one thing all three outfielders have in common is that they all have something to prove. For Betts, it’s to stay in centerfield and the leadoff spot. For Bradley Jr. and De Aza, it’s to play well enough to stay in the Majors.

Could this be what turns the Red Sox ship around?

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