by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s easy to get excited about Jackie Bradley Jr., declaring that he has finally broken out. The overall numbers backup that stance, as he hit .267 with 26 HR, 87 RBI and 94 R, but when you dig in things start taking a little bit of a turn. First you get the split from the first half and the second half:
The power was consistent, which is promising, but the average fell off a cliff. Given the power surge the first instinct would be to think that he was swinging for the fences in order to maintain his home run total. While his strikeouts did rise (20.3% to 25.0%), there wasn’t an increase in fly balls (34.9% to 33.7%) and therefore that doesn’t appear to be the case.
He owns a Major League career 25.6% strikeout rate and even in the first half he posted a 10.4% SwStr%. It would appear that it was a natural regression and the second half mark appears to be closer to the truth.
Couple that with a significant luck regression, with his BABIP going from .342 to .274, and his first half average is hard to support. Given his consistent lack of line drives, similar to his strikeout rate, the second half regression appears to be for real:
While he may not be a .233 hitter, something in the .250ish range does appear to be a more reasonable expectation.
We also can’t ignore his platoon split:
The owner of a career .367 SLG against southpaws, you have to think that the Red Sox could limit his exposure to them. While he’d be on the favorable side of a platoon, the potential loss of AB is notable just the same.
Bradley should be able to produce 20+ HR, but without speed (less than 10 SB) or an expected elevated average just how valuable is he? He’s usable, but he’s not going to be the high level asset many envision him as.
Being drafted as the 33rd outfielder in NFBC drafts (average ADP of 144.85), it’s not completely unreasonable but it still is a bit of a reach (as comparison, in the January 25 release of the Rotoprofessor Draft Guide we have him as the 241st ranked player on our Top 400). There’s just too many risks and the chance of him under-performing your expectation is great.
Sources – Fangraphs, STATS
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