Results tagged ‘ Jed Bradley ’
We’re exactly 13 days away from the Brewers annual winter fan fest, called “On Deck”. We’re exactly 29 days away from Pitchers & Catchers officially reporting to Maryvale for Brewers big league Spring Training. And we’re exactly 77 days away from Opening Day at Miller Park on April 1st. That means #77 is up for review.
(Click here for a brief reminder of what I'm talking about.)
First, though, I have to make special mention of the debut of the brand new “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” banner designed by my Twitter friend, Chelsey. It’s nice to have a special visual to tie all of these preview pieces together. You can (and most definitely should) follow her on Twitter at: @ChelseyJo
Today’s profile features a former 1st-round draft pick of the Brewers back in 2011. He didn’t pitch in the regular season after waiting until deadline day to sign his professional contract. He then was in big league camp last year before being assigned to Class-A Advanced Brevard County to begin the 2012 regular season.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
While all of that mirrors yesterday’s profile, we are actually talking about a completely different pitcher today. That pitcher is…
Yes, the second verse of Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers in 2013, as was the case with the first, is the same this year as it was last year. In fact, there has been much similarity between the two men profiled in consecutive days this year and last. There also is much that is different when comparing Bradley to yesterday’s look at Taylor Jungmann beyond the simple physical characteristics like that Bradley is two inches shorter or that he throws with the opposite arm.
Both were drafted in the first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, but Jungmann was 12th overall; Bradley was picked three spots later at 15. Both waited until deadline day to sign with Milwaukee, but Bradley pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2011 whereas Jungmann didn’t throw a professional pitch all year. And while both did debut and pitch their full first seasons as Manatees, the results were drastically different.
Bradley, 22, got off to a hot start in the month of April but he simply wasn’t consistent after that. Over his first three starts Bradley was 2-1 with a 0.00 ERA (one unearned run resulted in the one loss) over 19.0 innings. He struck out 18, walked only three, and allowed only 10 total hits. Obviously that level of performance wasn’t sustainable, but the left turn Bradley took last year was a sharp one.
Over his remaining 17 starts Bradley allowed zero runs exactly zero times. He allowed one run only twice. He had 10 starts in which he allowed four or more earned runs.
All this resulted in a season line of: 5-10, 5.53 ERA, 107.1 IP, 136 H, 76 R (66 ER), 9 HR, 43 BB, 60 K, 1.668 WHIP.
Those numbers produced rates of 11.4 H/9, 3.6 BB/9, 5.0 K/9 and a K/BB ratio of 1.40.
To be fair, Bradley dealt with a couple of injuries during the season and tried to pitch through when he could, but those are some pretty ugly numbers. The thing that the Brewers minor league coaches have to do now is figure out what went wrong and how they’ll go about correcting it.
One thing I noticed right away? Bradley’s home/road splits are d-r-a-s-t-i-c.
Home: 11 games, 2.58 ERA, 66.1 IP, 57 H, 24 R (19 ER), 4 HR, 24 BB, 39 K
- One start of 6.0 IP, three of 5.0 IP, rest didn’t get through the fifth inning
Road: 9 games, 10.32 ERA, 41.0 IP, 79 H, 52 R (47 ER), 5 HR, 19 BB, 21 K
- One start of 3.1 IP, two of 5.0 IP, rest at least a full 6.0 IP including four starts of 7.0 full IP
It’s no secret that Space Coast Stadium (Home of the Manatees) is a big ballpark. With dimensions of 404 to straight-away center and 340 down both the left- and right-field lines, we’re not exactly talking about a bandbox here.
I also reached out to the official scorer for the Manatees, Brandon Revels, to ask for his opinion of how the ballpark plays since he’s there on Gameday. He told me that, “Space Coast Stadium is definitely not friendly to hitters. Tougher on RHH than LHH.”
Revels was sure to point out also that while his home/road splits were significant, the distance between his LHH/RHH splits were bad also.
“(Bradley’s) .238/.294/.323 against LHH (130 AB) vs .342/.411/.524 against RHH (307 AB) split didn’t help either.”
So all of those factors contributed to why Bradley’s numbers appear so much better simply depending on how you look at them. For more insight though, I must direct your page views to a Q&A session which Bradley recently did with David Laurila of Fangraphs.com. (You can read the full Q&A here.)
Some highlights of the interview include that Bradley knows he pitched poorly and identified some reasons for that. He would do too much between starts, or they’d try different grips on his pitches, but nothing he did to try to rectify the funk he was in on the mound would stick for very long.
In that Q&A Bradley also goes into his pitch repertoire and what he feels are his best offerings right now. Other than his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, Bradley said that his best secondary pitch would be his changeup.
But the best part of the interview, in my opinion, was to read the resolve in Bradley’s words when he knows that he’ll get better and that he now understands what they mean when they say that the first year in pro ball is a massive adjustment. He knows he wasn’t prepared for it. He also knows that in order to get better he needs to work harder.
The future does still appear to be bright for Bradley despite the issues which got in his way last year. He acknowledges what went wrong, figured out a few ways how not to correct it, and is looking to move forward from these shortcomings through hard work. That’s a recipe for success, at least, as he works to overcome a problematic rookie campaign.
And after all, isn’t admitting your problem the first step to correcting that problem?
Did you know that you can follow Brewers prospect Jed Bradley on Twitter? Do so at @Jed_Bradley.
You can also follow me: @BrewerNation
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
For a baseball team that hasn’t had the greatest track record of cultivating minor league pitching talent to the point of reaching the Major Leagues, being named as its number one pitching prospect could be a designation accepted with lukewarm enthusiasm at best.
After all, plenty of other “top” prospects for the Milwaukee Brewers have flamed out or faded away throughout the years, especially in recent history.
Mark Rogers can’t stay healthy. Eric Arnett has struggled in Low A. Dylan Covey was diagnosed with diabetes and chose to attend college while learning how to deal with his disease. Several other high draft picks have been released.
It’s been a rough road.
In fact, looking back at the past decade of just First-Year Player drafts for the Brewers (so including 2002 to 2011), they’ve drafted a pitcher in the top five rounds 26 times, including five times as their first draft choice of a given year. (Yes, this includes 2010 because even if you want to exclude Dylan Covey because he didn’t sign, their second pick, Jimmy Nelson, was also a pitcher.)
Yes, Yovani Gallardo was drafted and developed by the Brewers. Gallardo has been a tremendous success, especially when compared to his fellow draftees to this point, but he’s clearly and glaringly the exception to an otherwise fairly firm rule.
(To impress your friends with a piece of trivia, did you know that the longest-tenured pitcher of the Brewers organization who was drafted by the Brewers organization wasn’t even drafted as a pitcher? Sidewinding righty Tim Dillard was chosen in the 34th round of the 2002 draft as a catcher.)
So far, however, the label has done nothing to stunt the growth of #60 on our profiling countdown to Opening Day:
Wily Peralta was acquired in alternative fashion when he signed with Milwaukee on November 26, 2005 as a free agent from the Dominican Republic for a bonus in the amount of $450,000. He was only a 16-year-old at the time, a necessary age range to scout in Latin America.
Peralta was recently named as the #1 prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and #49 overall in baseball, by MLB.com. With the next closest fellow Brewers prospect checking it #97 overall (Jed Bradley), it pretty easily christens Peralta with the “top organizational pitching prospect” title belt.
Still just 22, Peralta stands at 6’2” and is listed as weighing 240 pounds. He comes at hitters with a mid-90s fastball (having touched 98) and a mid-80s slider. At times last year he flashed a developing changeup as well. A third pitch will be necessary if Peralta is to fill the role of a starting pitcher at the Major League level.
Peralta does have a Tommy John surgery in his rearview mirror but is far removed from the surgery as it cost him the 2007 season while rehabilitating.
2009 was really when those outside the organization began to take notice of Peralta. That season he posted a 3.47 ERA, supported by a 118/46 K/BB ratio, while allowing 91 hits in 104 innings pitched for the Low-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. 2010 was spent in both High-A Brevard County (3.86 ERA, 75/40 K/BB, 102 hits in 105 innings pitched) and Double-A Huntsville (3.61 ERA, 29/24 K/BB, 43 hits in 42 innings).
Peralta began 2011 at Huntsville and pitched his way not only to Triple-A Nashville during the season but into discussions for a possible September call-up to Milwaukee. At Huntsville, Peralta compiled a 9-7 record, 3.46 ERA with a 117/48 K/BB ratio, 106 hits allowed in 119.2 innings over 21 starts. After his promotion to Nashville, Peralta responded in five starts with a 2.03 ERA, 40/11 K/BB, 21 hits allowed in 31 innings pitched, good for a 1.03 WHIP.
Scouts see a lot of things to like in Peralta. He’s considered physically strong, but at a listed 240 pounds on a 6’2” frame, scouts do believe he’ll have to closely monitor his conditioning. As for the pitching itself, his delivery is consistent and repeatable, and he generates easy heat with it as evidenced by the speeds I listed earlier. His slider is above average and shows late sweep, and he’s improved his changeup considerably. Again, if his improvements hold into the 2012 season, he’ll have shown enough of an arsenal to stay as a starter. Last year, Peralta finished with a 1.39 ground out to air out ratio as well, which, if you’ve got a competent defense working behind you, isn’t a bad thing.
The main problem for Peralta during his minor league career has been spotty command, but he reduced his walk rate this year and once again increased his strikeouts.
If he maintains the progress with his command, he currently projects as probably a solid number three starter who gives you plenty of quality innings.
And if he reaches that projection he’ll have certainly come a long way to join Gallardo as a welcomed exception.
***UPDATE: Jed Bradley was just revealed as the #97 prospect in all of Major League Baseball according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanMayoB3.***
Welcome to the second installment of Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers for the 2012 season.
If you need a refresher as to how this thing works, click here. If not, let’s ride!
It is January 20th, which is 77 days before Opening Day.
This year, jersey #77 has been assigned to Jed Bradley.
He was picked 15th overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and was the second first-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers. Bradley was chosen with the pick the organization received when 2010 first rounder Dylan Covey decided to attend college after being diagnosed with diabetes.
Bradley, like his fellow Brewers first round pick Taylor Jungmann, waited until the deadline day to sign his professional contract with Milwaukee. Unlike Jungmann, Bradley ended up pitching on behalf of the Brewers in 2011.
The Arizona Fall League is a place where prospects are sent to compete for various reasons. Some are on the verge of the big leagues, some simply didn’t get enough innings or at-bats during the course of their regular season, some are high-ceiling prospects who teams want to see compete against other top flight prospects. Bradley was sent to the Brewers affiliate in the Arizona Fall League, the Peoria Javelinas.
Compiling at 1-0 record with a 6.48 ERA over 8.1 innings spanning five appearances (two starts), Bradley demonstrated some talent but also his rawness. Yes, this experience screams small sample size, but Bradley was able to strike out eight batters in those 8.1 innings. He earned himself the accolade of “2011 AFL Rising Star”.
Bradley has stated this off-season that he has been told he’ll be starting the year in Florida pitching for the Brewers High-A affiliate, the Brevard County Manatees. There should be plenty of opportunities during the Manatees’ 140-game regular season for Bradley to refine his craft. Then again, there’s always a chance that Bradley pitches well enough to end the season with the Brewers AA affiliate Huntsville Stars.
Let’s be realistic though. While he has a very projectable body and delivery, the fact remains that Bradley needs some more development and refinement because he has not provided the track record of some of the other pitchers in his draft class. The 2011 college season saw Bradley take some big steps and give a glimpse at the kind of pitcher he could be a few years from now.
Speaking of which…
As, I mentioned at the top, Bradley is a left-handed pitcher who delivers out of a high 3/4 arm slot. He has easy arm action and pitches on a downward plane. As is important with any pitcher looking to avoid injury and maximize results, Bradley is said to have smooth and very repeatable mechanics. He hides the ball a bit providing some deception. While it can be rare to see a left-handed pitcher with good size, a good frame, and a clean and effortless delivery, Jed Bradley possesses these things.
That clean and effortless delivery results in easy low 90s velocity on his fastball though when you take into consideration his size and room for growth, the pitch could sit 92-94 in the future. His fastball is consistently plus and could still improve. Bradley has shown the ability in college to maintain his velocity deep into his starts.
The other pitches in Bradley’s arsenal coming out of college are a slider and change. When the slider is on it provides hard, late sweeping action. It’s a swing and miss pitch that at times looks plus. His change-up also looks plus at times, appearing like his fastball out of his hand but diving and fading late.
Bradley is talked about as having a very high-ceiling almost universally when I’ve seen scouting reports by different people. Potential is just that until it is realized, of course, but that is exactly what the Brewers minor league coaches are tasked with tapping into.
Suffice it to say that we should all be keeping an eye on Jed Bradley this year and going forward.
The next installment of “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” hasn’t quite been decided yet. I could profile Anderson De La Rosa, a 26-year-old catcher who was extended an invitation to big league camp, but he really has zero chance to make the club and honestly doesn’t profile well to ever make the 25-man roster. I just don’t think it’d be a productive use of our time.
If I skip De La Rosa (which I’m definitely leaning toward doing), and none of the other spring training invitees are assigned jerseys in the 70s, the next player up for sure right now would be recent 40-man roster addition Santo Manzanillo. The right-handed power pitcher was assigned jersey #67 and would therefore be profiled on January 30th.