When we included Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on our All-Overrated Team, it was because of his inconsistent offense. As for his defense, that’s never been questioned. He’s clearly among the best defensive outfielders in the game today.
Many believe Bradley deserved consideration for a Gold Glove Award last season. Some who follow the Red Sox are even calling him the team’s “defensive ace,” while others have argued he could be the best defensive center fielder in franchise history.
Any and all of that could be true, but you wouldn’t have guessed as much if Saturday was your first time seeing Bradley in action.
The 2016 All-Star was involved in a play that will be headed straight for the blooper reel after his strange misplay turned a harmless Denard Span single into a two-run inside-the-park home run.
What happened was…. well, we’re not exactly sure.
Bradley seemed to have it measured, then he ran by it and went down, allowing the baseball to skip right on by.
It’s possible the ball had some slice on it. Regardless, once it was by Bradley the Red Sox had no chance of stopping Span. By the time the baseball rolled to the wall, Span was already rounding third and heading home for his second career inside-the-park homer.
Span really had the jets going. He circled the bases in 15.80 seconds. According to Statcast, that’s the fastest trip around the bases this season, and the fastest by a Rays player since Statcast started tracking in 2015.
Perhaps this play is more of a sign of how well things are going for Tampa Bay right now. With Saturday’s 12-6 win against Boston, the Rays now have an eight-game winning streak.
However you want to look at it, it’s a moment Jackie Bradley Jr. will want to forget.
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