Jackie Bradley Making Gold Glove Push


Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jackie Bradley‘s rookie season with the Boston Red Sox has been highlighted by an array of superhuman grabs. While the youngster has had his fair share of issues at the plate this year, his defensive play has been undoubtedly flawless. Bradley ranks among some of the best defensive center fielders in the game. His efforts certainly warrant consideration for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in the American League.

Bradley exhibited his most recent act of defensive greatness Friday night in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old flashed some serious leather in the 9th inning of Boston’s 4-2 win over the Angels. Second baseman Howie Kendrick belted a shot toward the gap in right-center field. At first glance, it appeared as if Kendrick had himself an extra-base hit.

The 24-year-old speedster was locked in on Kendrick’s hit though, sprinting full speed to cut it off. Bradley made a leaping catch on the ball. His momentum forced him to go crashing into the wall and it nearly knocked the ball loose, but Bradley was able to hold on for an important out.

“It was well hit. I immediately broke and took my eyes off it and tried to get the fastest three steps before looking to see if I could handle it. It all happened so fast. I was just hoping the wall didn’t stop me before I could get to it,” said Bradley of the play.

Bradley’s dazzling flare in center may be jaw-dropping to the casual baseball fan, but Boston fans have become accustomed to witnessing his stunning feats. He seems to rob hitters on the regular now. His game-saving gems have been one bright spot for the Red Sox among many woeful ones this season.

Manager John Farrell knows Bradley is a bonafide center fielder. “He’s such an impact defender,” said Farrell.

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In  92 starts in center this year, Bradley has 259 defensive putouts and 13 assists. Bradley’s yet to commit an error. His highlight reel continues to strengthen by the week. At such a young age, Bradley is showing the confidence and poise of that a veteran would roam the outfield with.

“The one that’s never been shaken in his time here is his defense. He’s a confident defender. You feel like he can roll out of bed and run to a spot where a ball’s going to potentially land,” said Farrell of Bradley.