Jackie Bradley Jr. Prepared To Embrace Spotlight For Sox

February 25, 2014 8:37 PM
Jackie Bradley Jr. Prepared To Embrace Spotlight For Sox
" BOSTON (CBS) — It’s never easy for any athlete to step in as the “next guy” after a star player leaves a team, but when it comes to the challenge, Jackie Bradley Jr. is choosing to embrace it rather than hide from it.

With Jacoby Ellsbury jetting to New York for a big-money contract, the defending-champion Red Sox are left with a bit of a question mark in center field. Bradley, 23, certainly impressed with a .419 batting average last year in spring training, but he struggled in the regular season and showed he wasn’t quite ready for the big leagues. This year, the Red Sox are asking a bit more from Bradley.

“I’m being watched. I know I am,” Bradley said Tuesday in Fort Myers. “That’s a good thing, though. I’m ready to embrace it.”

At the plate, Bradley won’t be asked to replace Ellsbury in the leadoff spot. It’s in center field that Bradley will likely have to step up and be an every day player. And defense is an area where Bradley looked MLB-ready last season.

“I take a lot of pride in it,” Bradley said of his defense "

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