Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Did Jackie Bradley Jr become Willie Mays?

Scratch that. That’s wrong.

He’s apparently better than Willie Mays.

After all, people are worried about him costing the Red Sox wins if he is sent down to the minors for the first nine games of the season. Really? Let’s look into that, shall we?

Best I can tell, using the Total baseball ratings I happen to have in front of me, the best Willie Mays ever did was add 7.3 wins to his team’s total. That was in 1956 when he hit .317, and clubbed 52 home runs, while playing sterling defense. So, 7.3 wins over the 151 games he played. So…0.048 winds per game played. Over nine games, that would mean he adds 0.44 wins. That wouldn’t exactly help any playoff chances. What would it mean if Bradley added 1 win to the Sox’s total by playing in those nine games? It means he would add 18 wins over a full season. That would be beyond legendary. That would be two seasons of Babe Ruth. Even if Bradley wanted to add half a win during those nine games…rounding up, and all…it would equate to adding 9 wins over a season. We’re talking elite status here. For a 22-year old? It’d be better than video game numbers. It’s just not happening.

So, what are we talking about here? Why is having Bradley start with the team even a point of discussion? What is the possible upside?

I hear lots of crazy things. He makes the team better. You should always put the best team on the field. The Sox shouldn’t be worrying about saving a big contract later. That’s for small market teams to worry about. And, I’d agree with that. The Sox should just go and buy whatever player they want to put somewhere. Of course, if they did that, Carl Crawford would still be in left field. He’s better on his worst day than Johnny Gomes is on his best. So, if we’re really worried about the best team, and not financial flexibility, Crawford would be in left and Gonzalez would be at first. But, everyone else seems to be OK that they’re not. So, you’re not allowed to be happy that Crawford’s gone, but upset that Bradley is. It’s the same decision. Future financial flexibility vs. current talent.

Hypocrite! I can hear you yelling at me from here. After all, I’ve been against the Big Trade ever since the Sox improved the Dodgers. How can I, then, not want Bradley to be on the team…future contract be damned?

It’s all about degrees. We’re talking two weeks. Nine games…if we assume that Bradley would play in all those games. (Wouldn’t Gomes, or somebody, have to get into at least one of them?) And, Bradley’s not Carl Crawford either. Maybe he’s playing like it now. But, it would be a very small sample size. I’m more than willing to trade nine games of a 22-year old for 162 games of a player in his prime. If it was 90 games? I say start him now. But, two weeks is too little not to simply ignore.

Honestly, I can’t even fathom the other side of the argument.


  1. There is only an argument because there is nothing else to report on at Red Sox spring training. They have already wrote the Ortiz ankle and hurt Jacoby news articles a half million times and they have to write something so they are writing about Bradley.

    I say start him in the Majors eventually he is going to cool off at which point you send him down. Best of both worlds.

  2. To me, it's not a big deal either way. Bring him north and let him play LF. If he cools off, send him down. If the Sox decide to wait 2 weeks to bring him up, I don't have a problem with that, either. It's good business.

    If he isn't sent down this year that means he is as good as advertised. The Sox can then see if he does it again next year in CF, then sign him to a contract that makes all this debating a moot point.

  3. I'll tell you when Bradley became Mays, this spring!

  4. He was just announced as the opening day LFer in Yankee Stadium. I think that his defense over Gomes in LF and the fact that he is the hot hand (while playing more ST games than any other Sox player) make this a slam dunk. I get the "miss 9 games now vs 18 games later argument" but I think we need a little extra push right now with Papi out and given how the Sox have started out the past few years...


  5. I get the idea of going with the hot hand. I get the idea of putting the best team out there every day. I even hate the idea of not having a great team today in order to have a good team later.

    But, we're talking about 9 games in order to increase his trade value tremendously.

  6. I think we're on the same page - if the sox dont secure the extra year of control over JBJ then this move is Valentinesque. I just dont buy into any of the arguments that the sox wont be able to send him down for 20 days over the next few years.

    It would be very "neat" to send JBJ down for 9 days to start the year, but if it is all the same in the end then we should be happy to get game changing defense in a huge LF during a part of our schedule that we have traditionally struggled during.



What people are reading this week