More Is More For Bobby Bradley

Sometimes less is less. Bobby Bradley found that out last year, when the first baseman was hoping less would be more. But it wasn’t.

So the 22-year-old Bradley has put on some of the pounds he shed last season, when he reported to spring training 30 pounds lighter than his playing weight from the year before.

That weight loss took Bradley down to about 225 pounds, but the weight loss also did something else. It took nearly 30 points off his batting average. After hitting .251 at Double-A Akron in 2017, Bradley’s batting average dipped to .224 in 2018. His power production held steady, however.

A lighter Bobby Bradley was a less productive player, which is why Bradley came to camp this year looking different than he did a year ago. He’s added some of that lost weight, in hopes of recovering some of that lost production.

“He thought he got a little too lean (last year),” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He feels stronger, and better at the plate now. He’s in a good place now.”

Bradley has been in a good place for much of his career, ever since being drafted in the third round in 2014 out of high school in Gulfport, Miss. The lefthanded slugger led his minor league in home runs in each of his first three pro seasons. That included winning the triple crown in the Rookie-level Arizona League in his pro debut.

Last season at Akron and Triple-A Columbus, Bradley combined to hit 27 homers with 83 RBIs while hitting .224/.308/.466 in 129 games.

The Indians added Bradley to the 40-man roster following the 2018 season, and Francona said that ups the ante for Bradley, and other prospects on the major league roster for the first time.

“It’s getting to the point in their careers where we’re saying, ‘Hey, you’re here to show us you can help us win,” Francona said. ” ‘You’re not just here for a pat on the back and to get a couple of at bats.’ “

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