Jackie Bradley has shown up to spring training with a new swing. After an offseason working with swing guru Craig Wollenbrock, Bradley might be poised for a breakout season. Yes, it’s only spring training, but Bradley showed off his new swing with a home run in his first at-bat.
JD Martinez Helps Out
JD Martinez has been a godsend in more ways than one. Not only did he rake to the tune of a .330/.402/.629 batting line last year, but he has been helping other players with their swings. Multiple times last season he noticed something in a players swing and helped them work on it. Jackie Bradley was one of these players.
A couple months into the season, Martinez helped Bradley with his swing. Bradley was really struggling, hovering around a .200 batting average in the first half. Martinez then invited Bradley to work with his swing coach, Craig Wollenbrock, over the all-star break.
Bradley’s offense picked up over the second half of the season. He credited JD Martinez with his success for helping him tinker with his swing. In the second half, Bradley batted .269 with seven home runs and an .827 OPS. The numbers are solid, but compared to what they were they look great.
Bradley made clear improvements last season after having his swing tinkered with. Now, with an entire offseason of working on that swing, the results have the potential to be even more dramatic. Bradley seems to have bought into the new approach, which former Red Sox prospect Lars Anderson said was necessary for success. Anderson himself had tried the program, but didn’t give it his all.
Bradley isn’t devoid of talent, he was after all a first round draft pick. He then batted over .300 in his first full professional season. Bradley rose through the system quickly, maybe too quickly for his own good. He did hit 26 home runs in 2016 while posting an .835 OPS, before tailing off these past two seasons.
I think with these new adjustments he can hit more like he did in 2016. I know right now that season is the anomaly, but Bradley showed some improvements in the second half and the postseason last year, and with his new swing things are looking up.