Last week the Brevard County Manatees came to Tampa to face off against the Florida State League Tampa Yankees and I was fortunate enough to catch the Brewers 2011 first round pick Jed Bradley in action.
Bradley’s overall line of allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings was far less indicative of how he pitched in the game.
Bradley was a little shaky in the first, quite possibly trying to show a little extra velocity as he hit his highest mark of the day with a 92 mph 4-seamer on multiple scouts guns.
Bradley walked the first batter he saw after getting ahead of him 0-2 but quickly settled down and got a first pitch popout against Yankees catching prospect J.R. Murphy (more on him later) then a fielder’s choice that should have been a double play if it was not for the poor defense behind Bradley. Bradley, still working from the stretch, struck out Rob Segedin swinging to end the inning.
Bradley worked a 1-2-3 second inning and showcased his 2-seamer and used it predominately to his glove side (away to left-handers and inside to right-handers). One Yankees’ scout claimed Bradley did not have a 2-seamer before this year and was very surprised by how well he used it in this game. His 2-seamer had traditional arm-side and downward movement but Bradley’s had some late bite that fooled quite a few hitters. He froze Yankees first baseman Kyle Roller on a beautiful, what I like to call, backdoor 2-seamer here:
Bradley worked mostly 89-90 with both of his fastballs, using the 2-seamer probably three-fourths of the time. He also broke out a slider that he threw for strikes and left-handed hitters could not touch. His change-up showed good tumble and has progressed to at least average at this point. Bradley’s bread-and-butter is his command and control and both were plus throughout the game and he maintained his mechanics thanks to a smooth and easily repeatable delivery.
Bradley cruised all the way through the fourth and displayed his slider against Neil Medchill throwing it twice for strikes, including a called strike three:
Bradley fell in to “trouble” (I use parenthesis satirically) when his defense decided to sit down on him when the balls were put in play and there were at least two official scoring calls that were ruled hits for the Yankees that were no-doubt errors on a poorly fielded ground ball and a dropped line drive.
Do not let Bradley’s four runs allowed fool you, he pitched like a man ready to take the next step in his professional career and with his change-up improved to at least average I see an easy floor of a third starter here with the chance to be a #2.
Yankees starting pitcher Shane Greene sat mostly 90-92 with a batting practice change-up and inconsistent slider that did flash above-average time. Greene had no command of his pitches and had some help by some beautiful receiving from his catcher J.R. Murphy. Greene has the size to be a starter but his delivery is very inconsistent and the lack of command and secondary pitches point to a future in middle relief.
J.R. Murphy showed good skills behind the plate, both blocking and receiving, and threw all three attempted base stealers out with ease. At the plate, though, he made outs on two first pitches from Bradley and showed a poor approach as the one pitch he did take in three plate appearances against Bradley was a strike while he swung at pitches off the plate. He has little stride and comes from a slightly open stance and moves in towards the plate, probably as a timing mechanism, but was late on two 90 mph fastballs from Bradley.
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | Brevard County Manatees, Florida State League, J.R. Murphy, Jed Bradley, Kyle Roller, Milwaukee Brewers, Neil Medchill, New York Yankees, Prospects, Rob Segedin, Shane Greene, Tampa Yankees