As one of only two MLBbros who take starters reps at first base in Major League Baseball, Bobby Bradley was in the plans to be the everyday first baseman for the Cleveland Guardians.
Despite a slow start that kept him on the bench, in lieu of Owen Miller, in the last two games of the Kansas City Royals series, it is still believed that manager Terry Francona still has plans for Bradley, even if it is in a platoon role matching up against right-hand pitching. Cleveland fans have been waiting for the 25-year-old slugger from Mississippi to blossom into an everyday MLBbro.
Last season, Bradley put together a slash of .208/.294/.445 hitting 16 homers, driving in 41 runs and scoring 36 runs in 74 games. Cleveland is enamored with the former 2014 third-round pick’s power stroke, sending out 156 career home runs in his minor league career.
His penchant for strikeouts is a concern, but if he continues to practice the habit of hitting the ball to the opposite field (upping his percentages from 20 to 26.2 percent from 2019), it can only help his OBP and the Guardians’ offense.
According to StatCast, some of Bradley’s good fortune has transferred to the big leagues. Last year, his 92nd percentile ranking in exit velocity improved immensely over his short stint in 2019. He improved on defense too, committing only five errors in 509 opportunities while adding some dazzling plays along the way.
BIIIIIIIG STRETCH! pic.twitter.com/0CZqzKBFxH
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) August 6, 2021
For this MLBbro to become that everyday player Cleveland needs at first base, Bobby Bradley has to stay healthy and keep his strikeout percentages to a minimum. Terry Francona and the ball club have their sights set on high contact rate hitters who can put the ball in play over high risk, high reward power hitters. If Bradley can show those qualities, there’s no reason why he can’t top the 20-home run mark with 300-350 at-bats.