The 2021 season has been an up and down battle for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He’s had some moments at the dish, but they have been few and far between.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 1, 2021
When it comes to hitting, he’s struggled a lot at the plate but the Brewers remained faithful that he would turn things around.
Well recently, Bradley Jr. has done just that. At the end of June, Bradley Jr. had hits in three out of four games to end the month and he carried that into the beginning of July.
The former All-Star had a five-game hitting streak that ended on July 5. During the hitting streak, he posted a .350 batting average with a double and three RBI.
One area that Bradley Jr. continues to excel in has been in the field. That’s a big reason why he continues to be in the lineup despite his lack of hitting this season.
WHY WOULD YOU EVER TEST THE ARM OF JACKIE BRADLEY JR. pic.twitter.com/JkJ3qWMllS
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 1, 2021
Going into June, Bradley Jr. had a .160 batting average. He was able to raise that to .165 at the end of the month.
That’s progress right there and that’s something you want to see if you’re Bradley Jr. Our MLBbro has struggled since the start of the season offensively and that’s something he’s not used to.
It’s frustrating when you can’t find your rhythm at the plate and it could feel like you can’t do anything right at the plate.
The Brewers have had a first-hand look at Bradley’s struggles throughout the season, but the team knows that he has the ability to make those necessary changes as the season progresses.
“I thought he had some good ABs and hit some balls hard on the (last) road trip (to Colorado and Arizona),” president of baseball operations David Stearns told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But this is well below his career level of production. He’s certainly aware of that; he’s frustrated by it.”
“I don’t have a great answer for it. He’s working hard to get through it. There are years where it seems like every at-bat, a hitter is in a pitcher-advantage count. It feels like that with Jackie right now, like he’s walking into the batter’s box with two strikes. That’s a tough way to hit.
“There have been a lot of loud outs. He’s hitting it at a lot of defenders. That adds to the frustration.”
This has certainly been his worst season statistically at the plate. Through 78 games he’s batting .170 with a .289 slugging percentage.
At the start of the season, Bradley Jr. was hitting .150 at the end of May. You could only imagine what was going through his mind at that time. But the good thing is that he’s making progress. Bradley Jr. has hit in some timely clutch at-bats recently and that is a confidence booster for sure.
He had a two-hit performance on June 28 against the Chicago Cubs, that was a game he needed.
“With anybody, it’s always good to see balls fall,” Bradley said. “You don’t want to continuously hit balls hard but right at somebody. That’s just the way the game is. I’ll take the soft hits, too. I don’t have to always hit it hard. I was glad to see that fall, not only for myself but also, obviously, for the team and to contribute in a big moment like that.”
Despite his struggles, Bradley Jr. knows this is a mental game and he understands he can’t get so far in his head when he’s struggling at the plate.
“This is a game that requires a lot of physical performance but a lot of mental focus as well,” he said. “So, I’m trying to stay focused and stay in the present. You can’t change the past. Obviously, I’ve been horrible to this point and I have to get better.”
Our MLBbro will continue to work hard. It’s all he knows.