Tuesday night marked a huge anniversary for Jackie Bradley Jr. though he likely did not even notice.
Last year in May, the Boston Red Sox recalled the outfielder from his Triple-A banishment before they played against the Blue Jays.
However, the return of Bradley to the Bigs lasted just 12 days in which he made 11 plate appearances. May 22 he returned to Triple-A to platoon with another outfielder since he failed in his attempt at being an everyday Boston center fielder.
However, fast forward to present and those negative days are distant memories for Bradley Jr. He is now the hottest hitter the highest-scoring team in the American League has, which was punctuated on Monday when he had three hits including a career first grand slam and 6 runs batted in. He added two more hits on Tuesday night as the Red Sox offense has taken off.
Bradley is currently on a hitting streak of 16 games, which is the longest active streak in MLB. He has 21 hits in 55 at bats with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs, 17 RBIs and an OPS of 1.215 during that stretch.
Bradley has hit 3 home runs over his last six games or the same number Hanley Ramirez his teammate has in his past 119 plate appearances.
Bradley Jr. was given another chance last August when he was recalled. He hit .446 in 86 at bats with 24 hits for extra bases and an incredible 1.441 OPS.
It convinced the Red Sox front office to give Bradley Jr. another opportunity as the regular center fielder.
He started slow at the plate this season even though he was unchallenged throughout spring training. However, the recent tear Bradley Jr. is on brings back memories of last August and confidence each time he reappears at the plate.
Bradley says he never lost his confidence and would not know how difficult it would be to regain it. He added that he is taking what the opposition pitching is giving him. On pitches away, he will go the opposite way.
Bradley currently is hitting the baseball as hard as or harder than most of his teammates, expect for the ageless wonder David Ortiz.
He is also emerging as one of the game’s best center fielders and should help Boston battle the rest of the AL East through the summer and into September.