The One-Month Wonder
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is perhaps most known for his spectacular defensive play and his extraordinarily bad play at the plate. Contrary to his unsightly .210 batting average, Bradley has gotten hot over the last month. However, Father Time has bested the center fielder in each of his big league seasons, and it’ll be no time before Bradley returns to form.
Bradley made his debut in 2013, where he appeared in 37 games. Since that season, Jackie has appeared in at least 100 games every year except 2015.
In the 2014 season, Bradley played in 127 games and hit .198/.265/.266. Taking a deeper look into the numbers, in the months May-October, Bradley hit just .166 with 18 RBI; in April (and one game played March 31), Bradley hit .244 with 12 RBI.
In 2016, the outfielder tallied a .381 batting average in the month of May, along with eight home runs and 24 RBI. Bradley supplemented these numbers with a 29-game hit streak in May as well. In the other months of the season, his average plummeted to .244 while averaging 3.6 home runs and 12.6 RBI per month.
The following season, Bradley’s bat found life in June when he hit .353, hit four home runs, and had 15 RBIs. During the rest of the season, his average dropped 136 points — all the way down to .217. In these months, he averaged 2.6 home runs and 9.6 RBI.
Last season, Jackie broke through in the dog days of August when he hit .282 with three home runs and 14 RBI. The center fielder didn’t see the same production the rest of the season, as he only hit .224 in other months.
Notice a trend?
It’s All Downhill from Here
Since the Sox started a series in Toronto on May 20, Bradley has been hitting .293 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. Before that date he had been hitting an abysmal .144 with no home runs and just seven RBIs.
Despite Bradley’s hot month, this still leaves him with a lowly .210 average — 10th worst in the majors among qualifying batters and fifth worst in the American League.
During his time as the worst hitter in baseball, the outfielder featured a .134 batting average on April 23, .142 on May 8, and didn’t crack the .200 mark until June 13.
If history has anything to say about how Jackie Bradley Jr. will finish out his 2019 campaign, he should be due for a steep drop-off any day now. Unless he has finally put an end to this seven-year nightmare at the plate — which would be hard to believe — he can thank Rougned Odor for keeping his seat warm at the bottom of the batting average list for the month.
Sell high while you can, Dave Dombrowski, or else Jackie Bradley Jr.: The One Month Wonder could come back to bite you.
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