Original article link: Carolina Notes – Bradley brings effort, by Jeff Seidel
Salem outfielder Jackie Bradley doesn’t make big plans or set lofty goals before each game or series. Instead, Boston’s first-round pick in the 2011 Draft keeps everything simple. Bradley’s goal is to play every game like it’s his last. He focuses on giving his best effort and avoids “over-thinking.” That strategy appears to be working as Bradley leads the Carolina League in hitting and has become one of the league’s top offensive threats.
“When you’re going out there, you’re just playing,” Bradley said. “Whatever happens, happens. [If] you go out there and play the game the right way, it’s going to treat you well.”
Baseball’s been treating Bradley very nicely so far this season. After Monday’s games, Bradley had a league-high .387 average, a number that had been moving up thanks to a recent hot streak.
He had a .462 average in his last 10 games and was riding a seven-game hitting streak. Bradley, who played just 10 Minor League games last year after signing in August, is among the league leaders in several categories and ranks first in hits and on-base percentage.
The transition to pro ball was helped by the fact that Bradley played at a high level in college. He was a member of the 2010 National Championship team at South Carolina.
“It just helped me to stay level-headed and focused,” said Bradley. “The difference is you’re going about it every single day. You’ve got to come and strap it on.”
“He’s got a lot of energy and he plays the game the right way,” McMillon said. “He is one of those players [that] works hard, and everything he gets is going to be because of his ability and how hard he works.”
Staying with the “keeping life simple” philosophy, Bradley said he didn’t set any big goals heading into this season. But one thing he did want was to stay healthy — something that had been a problem during his three years at South Carolina.
He underwent three operations in three years for three different problems in college. But so far, so good this year.
“I just wanted to come into this season and have a healthy season,” Bradley said. “As long as I have a healthy year and I stay healthy, everything else will follow behind it.”
That’s keeping things pretty simple.
Filed under: 2012: USA Minor League Player Updates