Photos: Jackie Bradley’s path to Boston ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Elsa/Getty Images Jackie Bradley has had a meteoric rise through the Red Sox organization. Drafted in 2011, he arrived in Red Sox spring training in 2013 as a prospect, but left as a member of the starting lineup. Jim Davis/Globe Staff Bradley made the acrobatic catch on Opening Day to snuff out a Yankees scoring threat, and he was on base three times in the Red Sox' 8-2 win. Look back on his fast rise through the ranks this spring. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff Bradley was unknown to most Red Sox fans when he came to Boston in January as part of a Red Sox prospects camp at Harvard. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff Bradley, 22, arrived in Fort Myers as a longshot to make the Red Sox roster. He had never even played at the AAA level, and the conventional wisdom was that he would need more time in the minor leagues. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff But Bradley quickly started to impress the Red Sox. On Feb. 27, Nick Cafardo wrote that Bradley skills and maturity made him look "like he’s pushing the development envelope." Charlie Neibergall/AP The Red Sox played Bradley in center field and left field through spring training. He hit .419 in 28 games during spring training with a .507 on-base percentage and a .633 slugging percentage. David Goldman/AP As Bradley continued to play well, buzz around him grew that the Red Sox would have a hard time sending him to the minors. Said Christopher L. Gasper on March 6, "He is the Next Great Red Sox Hope sprung eternal." Elise Amendola/AP By St. Patrick's Day, with David Ortiz ailing and a hole in the Red Sox lineup, Bradley had won over a lot of people. Nick Cafardo wrote that the rookie had proven his value and earned a spot on the Red Sox. Elise Amendola/AP Still, many argued that for contractual reasons, the Red Sox should send Bradley to the minors. By doing so for 11 days, they would delay his eligibility for free agency by one year, to after the 2019 season. Kathy Willens/AP Yet Bradley forced the Red Sox hand. Manager John Farrell said that while they intended for Bradley to return to the minors when camp began, he had become too important to the team. Elise Amendola/AP How did Bradley react when he learned the news of making the Red Sox on the team's flight to New York? “At 35,000 feet, he couldn’t jump any higher,” Farrell said. “I think he kind of sensed it all along.” Barry Chin/Globe Staff Bradley's debut came on one of baseball's biggest stages -- in Yankee Stadium. He batted eighth and played left field. Barry Chin/Globe Staff Bradley was a sparkplug offensively and defensively in his first game. Though he didn't have a hit, Bradley, rear, scored twice and drew three walks. Jim Davis/Globe Staff Bradley won kudos from David Ortiz as the Red Sox celebrated their victory. Said Bradley, " It’s definitely special to be able to contribute on your first day." Jim Davis/Globe Staff Farrell was happy to congratulate his rookie outfielder, who said he wasn't nervous heading into his first game. “I was ready," he said.