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The Spring season is only a week old, and already, one prospect is heating up in the manager's eyes. Today, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell alluded to saying that Jackie Bradley Jr could make the 25 man MLB roster. While we at RedSoxLife.com feel that Bradley, the Red Sox number two prospect in the organization, is talented, we also know that he is being blocked by starting center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. So, are the Red Sox trying to trade Ellsbury? Could Bradley platoon in right or left field with Jonny Gomes or Shane Victorino? Or are we just reading into things?

Take a look at comments made by manager on Farrell over the last week and make your own decision:

“We were able to quickly see what everybody has raved about and the precision to his routs and jumps, that’s impressive."
What this means: He can defend like Genghis Khan

"It’s exciting to see that kind of polish for a young player."
What this means: I wish I had his skills, and he is only 23. His prime is still 5 years away.

"We're four games into the game schedule, and he could still be served well by getting more at-bats in the Minor Leagues before he comes up, but again, he's making a very strong impression in camp."
What this means: Wish we could take him, but Scott Boras owns Ellsbury, and we all know this will end badly unless we keep Ellsbury for the season.

"He impresses the team every time he steps on the field."
What this means: Hitters have no chance at trying for two bases if the ball drops in front of this kid.

For a young player to make a positive impression in camp, he’s gotten off to a very good start."
What this means: The season is 162 games long, but if it were shorter, we should pay this guy Justin Verlander money.

“Every time he steps on a field he’s done something very positive,’
What this means: He represents Boston well. We need him on our team soon, seeing as how our clubhouse was toxic last season.

If you read into Farrell's quotations, it is obvious that he is very happy in Bradley's early development. But, as he stressed, it's early. At every level that he has played, Jackie Bradley has succeeded. He has won two college championships with South Carolina, he has played in the Cape League, he has played for Team USA. Last year, towards the end of the season, he faded (.218 average in the last 43 games) most likely because his body was not used to the long season. It is a safe bet to say that Bradley needs one more season in the minors to get used to such a long baseball year. Also, if the Red Sox do not put him on the roster, Bradley will not be able to file for arbitration until 2016, and therefore, the Red Sox will be able to control him for one more year in his prime. Unfortunately, I am sure that no matter how much Farrell wants Bradley over the light hitting Nava, or the over-rated Gomes, because the Red Sox see this as a business, they will keep Bradley down in the minors for at least the start of the season. But if the control was no object, I would not be surprised to see Bradley making this team.

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Peter Lepak 2/27/2013 11:29:00 AM Edit
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