FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell was asked Tuesday if it was far fetched that Red Sox prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. could win a spot as an outfielder with the big club this spring.
Farrell paused and then said, “Good question. The best way to answer it, we didn’t have that as a strong possibility and we’re four games into the game schedule. He would be served well to get at-bats in the minor leagues before he comes up, but again he’s making a strong impression in camp.”
Farrell said that when Shane Victorino leaves for the WBC to play for Team USA, that Bradley will get reps in right field. Farrell also said he would play Jonny Gomes in right because, especially at Yankee Stadium, left field is a bigger field.
“It’s going to be about how [Bradley] fares against quality pitching as we go through camp,” Farrell said. “You’re finding out about the person from a maturity viewpoint. Is he going to handle adversity? We have to weigh all of those things.
Farrell added, “Every time he’s stepped on the field he’s done something very positive. He’s sound fundamentally, takes great routes to balls and hits both lefthanded and righthanded pitching. For a young player in camp he’s done a great job.”
Farrell said the staff came into spring training feeling Bradley would go to Triple-A after getting a taste of camp. But he keeps opening their minds. He had three hits against the Blue Jays on Monday. He was scheduled to start in center field in Tuesday’s game.
Farrell said the staff never had a predetermined date for reassignment, and it might be that it could be extended.
“We talk about it in the staff room, it looks like he’s been doing this a long time,” Farrell said. “Defensively, when contact is made he’s already on the move. He’s a world class sprinter where he’s going to outrun the baseball.”