Red Sox  prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. talked with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday about the grind of a full minor league season, being a patient hitter, and more Red Sox topics.
After being selected by the Red Sox in the 2011 draft out of the University of South Carolina, Bradley played 128 games of minor league ball last year. He split time between Class-A Salem (Va.) and Double-A Portland.
“I definitely think I’ve worked hard this offseason,” Bradley said. “I’ll definitely be ready for it this upcoming season, I know what to expect. I’m fully prepared for it. … Coming from college, you didn’t play that many games. … I felt like I was physically ready for it, but mentally, knowing that you’re going to have to play a lot of games, but then once you’re actually doing it, your body’s paying a toll on you and just trying to get used to everything and adjusting with travel, it kind of tolled on me towards the end of the season.”
In 67 games in Salem, Bradley had a .480 on-base percentage, while he posted a .373 OBP in 61 games with Portland.
“I’ve always tried to be a quality at-bat every single time I step in there,” Bradley said. “Being able to work the pitcher, I didn’t want to make it easy on him at any point in the game. So, whether it was taking a pitch or sometimes they might think I am taking a pitch and I’m swinging. I think that’ll help me out a lot, as I keep elevating my game. Being able to work counts and work pitchers.”
Bradley Jr. certainly seems to be a likely candidate as the center fielder of the future, but he acknowledged he has some thing to improve. “I want to be able to hit with more strength to the opposite field, not just put it out there,” he said.
Bradley also joked about how his dad would react if his son ended up playing games without the “Jr.” on the back of his jersey.
“My dad will probably come up here, probably come up to the press box and say ‘Well, I’m Jackie Bradley, too, give me a jersey,’ ” Bradley said. “He always used to tell me when I was younger, ‘You better put Jr., because I’m not going to jail for you if you get in trouble.’ ”