Jackie Bradley Jr. got off to a woefully slow start for the Boston Red Sox in 2019. In his first 36 appearances of the season, he was hitting just .153 and hadn't hit a homer. It was a big power drop-off from his MVP performance during the ALCS when he crushed two homers and drove in nine runs, and it led to Alex Cora giving him some rest days to try and fix his swing.
Now, it appears that things are working one again for Bradley. In his last 10 games, Bradley is batting .324 and has clubbed four homers and five doubles. And there is an explanation for his uptick in performance.
Bradley is crediting an adjustment he made with his swing during the team's trip to Houston for his turnaround. He worked with assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett in the batting cages before one of the games against the Astros and everything seemingly came together after that.
“I was mixing fastballs and breaking balls from a very short distance, not telling him what was coming. He was able to have his way with it, to the point where it was incredible how good he was doing it. It was like this light bulb going on,” said Barkett, per Alex Speier of The Boston Globe. “Most people are going to have a hard time hitting either one from that close. He was hitting both with ease. I was like, ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now.’
“Since then, it’s just kept going. I asked him today about it. He referenced that day, and how impactful it was on him, because of what he learned about himself from the drill that we did.”
It's not a surprise to see Bradley getting hot again, as he has been prone to red-hot and ice-cold streaks throughout his MLB career. Perhaps this time, he has figured out his swing for the long-term, but he's still not getting complacent now that things are going well.
“It’s great [to see improvement]. You know that [the work is] something that’s going to be beneficial, something that’s easily repeatable,” said Bradley, per Speier. “[But] I’m not where I want to be. I’m not going to be overly excited about it. I’ve dug myself in a hole, and I’m going to work my way out of it.”
Considering that Bradley's batting average has gone up 32 points in just a matter of 10 games, he should manage to get out of that hole soon enough if he continues to stay hot.
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