Jackie Bradley has taken the second spot on our list of top Red Sox prospects, easily topping Matt Barnes and Rubby De La Rosa.
It was closer than Xander Bogaerts' landslide victory in the top spot, but it was not close. With better than 50% of the vote, Jackie Bradley takes the second spot with ease.
Bradley seems to have been made to succeed with this fanbase. Where better for a guy like Bradley to go than to the organization that took their first World Series in 86 years by putting OBP front-and-center? No, the Red Sox didn't invent it, and they weren't the first team to focus on it, but they were the ones to popularize it, arguably, and it's left a mark on the fan base, possibly even to the point of overvaluing it (a difficult thing, that).
So when an excellent defensive center fielder with some decent wheels comes along and puts up a .480 OBP in his first significant exposure to professional ball, yeah, it's going to draw some eyes. It's easy to forget just how obscene Bradley was in Salem, but there it is: .359/.480/.525. 52 walks to 40 strikeouts, with 16 stolen bases thrown in for good measure--albeit not with the greatest of success rates.
Bradley may not have brought the most power to the plate, but the ability is there to put up a few of those, too. Immediately after being asked about his lack of long balls in Salem, the young center fielder mused that, yes, he might want to start hitting a few. Three followed in short succession.
His time in Portland was not nearly so good as his time in Salem, but the fact that an .814 OPS in Double-A after a mid-season promotion is really more a product of how good he was in Salem than anything else. No, he didn't maintain his ridiculousness, but this is the first time Bradley had even seen a mid-season promotion that lasted longer than 15 at bats. To experience that major change for the first time and do so well is much more an achievement than a failure.
One last thing: anyone can have a puff piece written about them detailing how they're a great person, incredibly committed to the game, etc. Jackie Bradley, however, seems to be the guy teammates give glowing reviews of when there's no reporters or tape recorders in the room. Here's Matty Johnson singing his praises just this past Saturday. Being a good guy can't overcome being a bad baseball player, but that's certainly nothing Bradley needs to worry about.
Alright, time to move on to #3. Will the Three Bs make it a clean sweep, or will another claim the third spot and break up the gang?
The voting method remains the same as always:
I'll name candidates in the comments below, and you rec the comment of the player you want to vote for. For those unfamiliar with how to go about that, just click "actions" underneath the comment and then "rec." Nice and easy, though you do have to be a member to join in.
On the off chance I forget or otherwise leave someone out, you are free to start your own voting thread for that player. I'll even give it a rec of my own to make up for your vote.