Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 14, 2005
BASEBALL: Bradley Takes Center Stage

Last night, I intended to write bitterly about poor Dodger game management, which started when the blistering Hee Seop Choi was benched, and continued until a fatigued Jeff Weaver gave up a critical grand slam in the eighth inning. But I'll pass. This market, after all, is already cornered by Fire Jim Tracy.

So instead I'll discuss Milton Bradley, who hit two homeruns, including his own grand slam, from both sides of the plate. As FJT correctly observes, he hasn't been perfect this year. His walk rate is down: he's projected to draw fewer than 40 bases on balls. Relatedly, he's been seeing fewer pitches per plate appearance (3.59) than at any time in his career (3.84, though it reached 3.96 in 2003).

But, otherwise, he's been great. In fact, he's been perhaps the best centerfielder in the National League. Compare him to a couple of notables:

Milton Bradley.961.32114.417.7
Jim Edmonds.897.2968.111.8
Carlos Beltran.841.2868.611.0

I haven't been following the defensive end quite as much, so I can't make any credible assertions there. But I suppose it doesn't hurt that Bradley has five assists, which is the highest total among all major league outfielders.

Posted by Robert Tagorda at 9:43 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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