Bradley Continues Pounding Pitchers

BEST PLAYER: Halfway through his third pro season, first baseman Bobby Bradley has established himself as one of the most productive power hitters in the minors.

In his first two years with the Indians, the lefthanded-hitting Bradley led his league in home runs and RBIs. He hit eight bombs and drove in 50 runs in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2014 and collected 27 and 92 in the low Class A Midwest League last year.

Halfway through this season at high Class A Lynchburg, the 20-year-old Bradley was on pace for a 30-homer, 100-RBI season. Through 68 games he hit a Carolina League-leading 15 homers to go with 58 RBIs.

The 2014 third-rounder from high school in Gulfport, Miss., has struck out about one-third of the time this season, but for an organization that has developed just two homegrown, power-hitting first basemen in the draft era (Jim Thome and Richie Sexson), Bradley appears destined to end that drought.

BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: On one hand, catcher Francisco Mejia is repeating at Lake County this year, but on the other hand, he’s gone from an overmatched teenager to a 20-year-old all-star who hit .347/.384/.531 with seven homers through 60 games. He had thrown out 43 percent of basestealers.

The switch-hitting Mejia, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, had improved his average, buoyed by a 17-game hitting streak, by 100 points over last year, and his OPS was up by more than 200 points.

“Playing at 19 last year, the Midwest League was a challenge for Francisco,” farm director Carter Hawkins said. “He held his own, but having him repeat the level this year was a mental challenge that he has handled even better.

“He is seeing how a consistent routine and approach can help him maximize his talent, and he’s impacting the game on both sides of the ball.”

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Indians were excited to acquire lefthander Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals in a deadline deal for Brandon Moss last year, but Kaminsky’s progress has stalled this season at Double-A Akron.

The 2013 first-round prep southpaw from New Jersey thrived in the Cardinals system in 2014 and 2015, but he went just 2-4, 4.66 through 12 starts this year, with 30 strikeouts and 24 walks in 56 innings.

Last year Kaminsky did not pitch after Aug. 13 due to a lower-back condition, and he spent three weeks on the disabled list this year.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone