Next to Anthony Rendon and Springer, Jackie Bradley Jr. is arguably the most impressive position player available.
In addition to hitting a combined .358 during his two seasons as a Gamecock, Bradley has also posted huge walk numbers, stolen a couple of bases and played sterling outfield.
Bradley was crucial to South Carolina’s College World Series championship run in 2010 and will be a key piece if the Gamecocks can mount an encore in 2011. He was named MVP after hitting two home runs and driving in eight RBI during the semifinals and finals.
Despite his relatively low stolen-base numbers, Bradley has good speed, certainly good enough to stick in center field, where teams are going to be drooling over him for his ability to hit for power. He saw a lot of that power sapped during the beginning of last season when he was recovering from a broken hand, but it should return in 2011.
Bradley is a beast in the field, tracking down balls no other players can or should be able to reach. There’s a rumor going that he once threw in a ball from right field during a high school All-Star game that was clocked at 101 mph.
Clearly, he has a good arm to boot.
Bradley’s struggles at the plate have been well publicized, so I won’t dig too much into it, but hitting .278 in college is like struggling to keep your head above .200 in the majors, so Bradley could use a strong finish to the 2011 season if he wants to keep his name in the projected top 10.
He does have six homers with the new bats, which is impressive and another sign that he could have borderline above-average power at the next level.
With his defense, Bradley is definitely a safe bet to move pretty quickly, but his final destination will rest on the strength of his bat.