I teased this post a bit in my profile of Sean Manaea last week, and truthfully I’ve been excited about having an opportunity to write about Bradley since I took the reins in February. If there’s one thing I like more than a good looking woman in a pant suit, it’s prospects with power. Just ask some of my Razznasty league mates, they’ll tell you I’m blinded by power like Whitney was with Bobby Brown’s antics. Do I own Bradley anywhere? No, unfortunately I don’t. It’s not for lacking of trying either, but when you own a 19 year old who hit 27 homers in his first full year in pro ball you’re probably not letting him go for nothing. Not that I was offering nothing, but you get the gist. So as we always do at this time lets take a deeper look at Bobby Bradley, and see if he’s worth your tradeable assets.
Bobby Bradley, 1B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 474 PA, .264/.357/.518, 27 HR, 3 SB, 12% BB, 32% K
Bradley grew up in Gulfport Mississippi, and excelled as a multi-sport athlete. Staring for Harrison Central High School’s football, baseball, and basketball teams. As far as baseball goes, Bradley’s superior athleticism allowed him to play all over the diamond, logging innings everywhere from first to third to the outfield, and even behind the plate. Much of Bradley’s development as a hitter is a product of the work he did with former major leaguer and Harrison Central alum Matt Lawton. It’s said that through Lawton’s tutelage Bradley developed not only his superior hit tool but also a tireless work ethic. Following the conclusion of his senior season at Harrison Central, Bradley was taken in the third round of the June draft by his mentor’s former club the Cleveland Indians. Following the draft Bradley was faced with the difficult choice of choosing between jumping into pro ball as a fresh faced teenager or taking a scholarship to SEC powerhouse LSU. Lucky for us and the Cleveland Indians Bradley chose to start his pro career. Imagine that, Cleveland got lucky!
Upon entering the short season Arizona League Bradley didn’t disappoint winning the MVP of the league with a slash line of .361/.462/.652 to go along with 25 extra base hits in just 155 at bats. Keep in mind Bradley was one of the younger players in the league, just out of high school, and yet still dominated players hot on the heels of successful college careers. Early success in the pro ranks is somewhat unheard of from Mississippi high school players, who are viewed as having a greater learning curve than even their prep colleagues. This only magnifies just how special Bradley is as a hitter, as there was seemingly no learning curve as he exploded onto the pro scene in 2014. Which was then followed by an excellent 2015 that produced a .269/.361/.529 slash line with 27 homers and 92 steaks. The homer total led the Midwest League and was among the highest totals from a teenager in league history. This earned him a (very) late season promotion to High A Lynchburg of the Carolina league, which is where he’s started the 2016 campaign.
Now is the time on Sprockets where we dance, touch my monkey, and discuss our specimen’s tools. Yes my goal was to write the creepiest introduction possible. When it comes to Bradley’s tools everything begins and ends with his power, which is easily a 70 on the 80 scale, maybe higher. His power plays to all fields, though he has a tendency to be pull happy. His swing is balanced with great control of the barrel which in turn allows him to spray the ball the opposite way frequently. He’s advanced as a hitter showing the ability to take a walk at each level so far, posting Bb% of 9+ at every stop. Though his patient approach can sometimes be a detriment, hence the K% of 31.8% at Lake County in 2015. That’s not to say he isn’t aggressive with balls inside the zone, because he is, but a wild swinger he is not. As for the rest of the tool set there is little doubt that Bradley profiles as a bat first, first baseman, and even that could come into question if his fielding doesn’t develop. Let’s hope for our sake he starts in the field enough to avoid that dreaded Sano/Ortiz utility distinction. Even though I’m a huge fan of fellow first base prospects like A.J. Reed, Dominic Smith, and Sam Travis, it’s tough not to view Bradley as the top first base prospect target in dynasty leagues long term.