When should JBJ’s bat be a concern?
Best young outfield in the game. Looking forward to seeing these guys play for years, and years, and years together. That’s what everyone was saying prior to the season. Now, we must evaluate that assessment.
But instead of going through everything, let’s look at the guy who isn’t hitting: Jackie Bradley Jr. In 15 games, he’s got 60 plate appearances. Here are his stats: .189 batting average, .267 on-base percentage, .550 OPS (this is the stat I use to evaluate guys), 1 HR, 14 K’s. He still has a positive WAR (wins above replacement player) because his defense is always good. But seriously… he’s just not hitting right now.
For the time being, odds are, the Red Sox really won’t say or do much about it. He had a trip on the DL so not only did he miss a couple weeks, but he’s coming off an injury. Those are two valid points. You also have to remember this is the same guy who–with the exception of like two months of his MLB career, has pretty much been a bottom-of-the-barrel type hitter. .214 batting average lifetime if you take out August 2015 and May 2016. I don’t know the OPS, but I’m assuming it’s in the mid .600’s which ain’t ideal for an outfielder.
Here are some points to consider. JBJ is an inconsistent hitter. Always has been. Might always be. He also hit righties a whole heck of a lot better than lefties last year. Not saying anything more other than you can consider that point for what it is.
Usually, teams start to evaluate their roster situation again in June, so if JBJ ain’t hitting by then, the conversations will grow. But hey, if he’s playing good defense, they might not have a choice but to play him. Not much depth in this organization. Best they can do is Chris Young v lefties. Or maybe they could dance for playing time.
For real though, JBJ is a good player. He’ll figure it out.