Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Big things for Jackie Bradley Jr.

A simple glance at the box score wouldn't leave you with a ton of confidence about Jackie Bradley Jr.'s performance yesterday afternoon - but a simple glance wouldn't be doing him justice. After one game, Bradley has a batting average of zero, but with three walks (one after falling behind in the count to CC Sabathia, 0-2) his OBP is .600.

I'm perfectly aware that statistics like that are totally meaningless with a minuscule  one-game sample size, but a three walk game is a success no matter the context. It's easy to forget with all of the hype surrounding this rookie, but Bradley has never even played a game in AAA, or spent any time in left field. But obviously he was equal to the hype, since he waltzed right into Yankee Stadium on Opening Day, and scored two of the Red Sox runs with an RBI of his own, in addition to some great play in the field (pictured).

It's always fun (and ridiculous) to take Opening Day statistics and stretch them out over a 162 game season: for instance, the Sox would be on pace to go 162-0. If you averaged Bradley's Opening Day performance over an entire season, he would have no hits, 486 walks, 324 runs scored, and 162 RBIs. Certainly that would be an altogether absurd full season stat line, but I do see big things for the rookie this year.

In fact, I'm so confident that I added Jackie Bradley Jr. to my fantasy team last night. I had to sacrifice Lorenzo Cain, but I know it'll be worth it over the full season. There may not be any Red Sox baseball today, but I'm happily throwing myself into the euphoric and plentiful baseball-is-back coverage all over the internet. After all, if I survived six months of reflection about the worst Red Sox season in decades, I can certainly last one day on the sweet memories of beating New York on Opening Day in their house.

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