Will Bradley Jr. be on Red Sox’s Opening Day roster?

Jackie Bradley Jr. has given the Red Sox reason to make a big decision this spring.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has given the Red Sox reason to make a big decision this spring.

Going into spring training the Red Sox had no thoughts about possibly having 22-year-old outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on their Opening Day roster. The 40th overall pick in the 2011 draft hasn’t played any games past the AA level and has only been a professional for one full season.

Things have changed in Florida in the past few weeks, however, as Bradley Jr. has been on a tear, and coupled with a few injuries there is now serious consideration to having him on the major league roster come April 1.

Bradley Jr. was hitting .436 (17-for-39) with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs in 18 games this spring as of Tuesday. He also has a blistering on-base percentage of .551. Add in the injuries to David Ortiz and Stephen Drew, with their availability for Opening Day in question, and Bradley Jr. just may have a shot at making the big league club.

“Oh yeah,” Ortiz said to reporters in Fort Myers. “If he’s hitting .500, yes. I heard he’s a really good player. I haven’t been able to really watch him because they keep me indoors doing a whole bunch of things [to rehab two injured heels]. I heard he has skills. Never know.”

There are some long-term factors in regards to Bradley Jr., who was tabbed as Jacoby Ellsbury’s replacement if he were to sign with another team following this season. Because Bradley Jr. is not on the 40-man roster right now, if the Red Sox wait until April 12 (or after) to call him up, then the earliest he will be able to hit free agency is after the 2019 season. But if he is on the roster before April 12, he would hit free agency following the 2018 season.

If he were to be on the Opening Day roster, it wouldn’t necessarily mean playing everyday. The team is set with Jonny Gomes, Ellsbury and Shane Victorino in the outfield, but the team will need a DH if Ortiz is out of the lineup, which could be Gomes or Victorino from time-to-time.

With only 138 games of professional experience, none past the AA level, it is in the Red Sox’ best interest to start him in Pawtucket, then call him up at some point during the season. A guarantee of playing everyday is the best thing for the Sox’ top prospect, and add in the bonus of being under contract an extra year, this decision should be a no-brainer.

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.