What I really wanted to title this blog — Boston Red Sox: Weekly Wookie Woundup. Because really, try to say Weekly Rookie Roundup fast. Over the past week, a couple rookies have looked rather impressive—Jackie Bradley and Jeremy Hazelbaker. (And now I just want to call them wookies and picture them all really tall and furry.) Yes, it’s just spring training and yes, I know there’s not much of a chance of them living in Boston on April 1, but holy hell, the numbers from this week are preeeeeetty awesome!
This kid is on fire (sing it… like Alicia!) The youngster has been putting up some sweet digits in spring training. In five games, he’s batting .571 with eight hits in 14 at bats. Bradley is poised to take over in center when Jacoby Ellsbury hops the train to Money-ville after this season and I’m going to guess Bradley is a tad more durable than the current center fielder. Bradley played in just 61 games with AA Portland which most certainly means at least one more year in the minors. BaseballProspectus.com says this about the #2 prospect’s strengths:
Special baseball instincts; plus glove; strong arm; average speed, but preternatural feel for position; moves before ball is put in play; precise routes and angles; plus-plus overall profile at premium position; advanced approach at the plate; good pitch-recognition skills; knows his pitch pocket and attacks; solid-average hit tool; tough out.
The 25-year-old outfielder is swinging a big stick this spring. In his first four games, he batted .600. Granted that’s only five at bats but whatevs, .600 is pretty impressive, especially when you have some everyday players *cough* Shane Victorino *cough* that have put up a big fat goose egg thus far. As of today, his average has dropped to .429 but still respectable. Last year, Hazelbaker spent most of the season in Portland with the AA Sea Dogs. In 114 games, he averaged .273 with 19 homeruns and 119 hits.
So when are the Red Sox going to take a chance on one of these rookies? When are they going to throw caution to the wind and give one of these kids a roster spot and see where it goes? Who knows, they could have another Mike Trout or Bryce Harper on their hands. But they’ll never know unless they try.
In other news, Jon Lester spun three innings of shut out ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, walking one and striking out two. Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-2 and Mike Napoli went 1-for-2 in his spring debut. My parents were at the game—they’re in Naples, FL on vacation. Lucky for them they didn’t send me too many gloating texts.