11 Jun

good to see

Bobby Bradley will hit bombs. That we know. The former Harrison Central High star hit 180 home runs in eight seasons in affiliated ball, and he has 14 — tied for the league lead — in his first season in the independent Atlantic League. What is a little different this year for the 27-year-old Bradley has been his ability to put the ball in play. He went 3-for-4 (with a homer) in a 9-8 win by the Charleston Dirty Birds on Saturday and raised his average to .288. He has a .362 on-base average, a .667 slug. High strikeout totals (and defensive limitations) were Bradley’s big issue in affiliated ball. He punched out more than a thousand times in 820 games. In his last MLB stint with Cleveland in 2022, he hit .118 with nine strikeouts in 17 at-bats before being shipped to the minors and ultimately released. He has fanned 36 times in 37 games (132 at-bats) for Charleston. Atlantic League pitching isn’t bad; there are a lot of veteran arms around the circuit. Bradley, primarily a first baseman, has shown defensive versatility by playing some left field this year. Whether he has a path back to affiliated ball, who knows? But it’s good to see the once-highly rated prospect having some success again. P.S. Lance Berkman, the former Jackson Generals standout, was somehow bypassed for inclusion in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but he has been named to the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame, no minor honor. The star-studded college summer league, which began its centennial season on Saturday, named its 2023 class on Friday. Berkman hit a league-best .352 for Wareham in 1996. Two years later, after being drafted in the first round out of Rice by Houston, Berkman had a big year for the Double-A Gens, hitting .306 with 24 homers and 89 RBIs. He was a six-time All-Star and a World Series champ in the majors, finishing with a .293 career average over 15 seasons.

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