Leandre: Don’t Sleep on Bradley Jr.’s Offensive Contributions

When Jackie Bradley Jr.’s name is mentioned in any conversation, the talks tend to stray more towards his defensive prowess, and further away from his offensive abilities.

This is because he doesn’t have a very impressive stat line this season. Through 123 games in which he’s appeared in this season, Bradley has hit just .231 with an on base percentage of .309, and a .393 slugging percentage. Those numbers are fine—about league average, but still fine.

What gives people fits about Bradley’s offense is his .231 average. Yes, it’s very unimpressive and, at times, he can make it look far worse than that. However, Bradley has been snake-bit this year by a ton of hard outs. In fact, Jackie is having the best season of his career in terms of hard-hit percentage, clocking in at 39.9 percent. He also is having his second-best season of medium-hit percentage with 49.7 percent.

On the other hand, a number that is aggravating to look at is the USC product’s 25.6 percent strikeout percentage, almost three percent higher than his less-than-impressive 2017 campaign offensively.

If you’re able to look past the strikeouts, and just look at the success he’s having at putting the ball in play hard, you start to realize that Bradley hasn’t been as bad as the .231 average would indicate. Moreover, his batting average on balls in play—which takes out strikeouts and home runs—is .292, which is a far more attractive number to look at than .231.

The 28-year-old center fielder isn’t here for his offense, though. His name gets put in the lineup for his elite defensive capabilities, route efficiency, the eye test, and his cannon for a right arm. However, to look at a slash-line that reads .231/.309/.393 and say he has been bad is just not fair to Bradley.

Bradley has a .293 August batting average through 24 games into play on August 31, and it’s definitely on the rise after hitting .462 in his last four games. He’s on the rise, and it’s been a blessing to watch him fix his struggles and start to contribute on both ends of the game.

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