Jackie Bradley Jr. Has Become a Star for the Red Sox
April 23rd. That is the last time Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley played a professional baseball game without getting a hit.
That was 27 games ago. During his 27-game hitting streak, Bradley has batted .408, with 40 hits in those 27 games. As impressive, his on-base percentage is .487 as he's also drawn 14 walks during this stretch. And it hasn't been all singles and blooper, either.
Bradley's 27-game hitting streak has featured 8 home runs, 7 doubles and 3 triples, good for a slugging percentage of .786 and an OPS of 1.272. On the season, Bradley is batting .342, with an American League-best .413 OBP. He has a .618 slugging percentage and an OPS of 1.031.
Here is where Bradley ranks among qualified American Leaguers in the main offensive categories.
|FanGraphs WAR (fWAR)||1.8||T-9|
|Weighted Runs Created-Plus (wRC+)||176||2|
|Weighted On-Based Average||0.432||2|
Bradley emerged as a good young player last year when, in 255 plate appearances, he slashed .249/.335/.498 with 10 homers, 43 RBI, 43 runs scored, a wRC+ of 121, and an fWAR of 2.4.
That high wins above replacement figure is also due in large part to his outstanding defensive skills.
Over the last two weeks, Bradley has been especially valuable, as has most of the incredible Boston offense.
MLB leaders in WAR, last 14 days:
1. Jackie Bradley Jr, +1.3
2. Mookie Betts, +1.2
3. Xander Bogaerts, +1.1https://t.co/Ojjh4pU36y
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) May 23, 2016
Bradley's 27-game hitting streak has been fun to watch, as are all long hitting streaks. And with a hit in Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park, he will be halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak set nearly 75 years ago in 1941.
The odds of Bradley reaching DiMaggio are exceedingly remote. After all, the closest anyone has gotten is Pete Rose's 44-gamer in 1979. There are so many variables at play in keeping something like this going. And it's fair to note that no player has had at least a 30-game hitting streak since Andre Ethier with the Dodgers in 2011.
While the hitting streak itself is what is making news, it really only serves to shine a light on the fact that Jackie Bradley Jr. is becoming one of the game's newest superstars.