Jackie Bradley Jr.
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

To start this season, Jackie Bradley Jr. was seen as a defensive ace who could change the game with just his glove, but wasn’t known for having much upside on offense. within the last month and a half, however, he has proven doubters wrong and is one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Although he seems to be figuring out how to be successful at this level, Bradley Jr. has gone through a tough stretch over the past few seasons which makes his rise to success even more surprising.

Starting with his rookie season in 2013, Bradley Jr. couldn’t hit over .200 in just over 100 plate appearances. His stats continued to be unsuccessful in 2014 where he hit .198 in 423 plate appearances. 2015 didn’t start any better for Bradley Jr., but in August of that season something clicked as he hit .354 with 5 homers and 22 RBI’s. The final stretch of the season was another disappointment for Bradley Jr., but the success of August was something that he might have been able to build off of in the future.

In April of this year, Bradley Jr. had a very respectable month with a .272 average, 1 home run, and 13 RBI’s while hitting at the bottom of the batting order. May, however, has been a completely different story. In 55 at bats he’s hitting .422 with 6 home runs, 19 RBI’s and is in the midst of a 24 game hitting streak. He is still batting at the bottom of the order, but with all of the success he has had, as well as the success of the team as a whole, there is no reason to make changes to the lineup.

After starting his major league career being known as a sub par offensive player, Jackie Bradley Jr. has really come into his own with a .338 average, 7 home runs, and 33 RBI’s this season. He is proving that he can replicate the success he had as a minor leaguer where he was a .294 hitter in 5 seasons. As a former first round pick, Bradley Jr. has the pedigree to be a successful  baseball player. After many tough seasons in the majors, seeing Bradley Jr. succeed at such a high level should give fans hope that along with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Travis Shaw, the Red Sox could have a great young offensive core that can contend for years to come.

Stats provided by ESPN and Baseball-Reference.

Colby Gatz covers the Boston Red Sox, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.

 

 

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