Jackie Bradley admits that he hasn't seen "Moneyball" and that he's only read parts of the book on which the movie was based. Nevertheless, he's acting out the principles of both.
The Red Sox's No. 19 prospect went 5-for-5 with a double and three RBIs on Saturday to lead Class A Advanced Salem to a 9-4 win over Myrtle Beach.
Bradley has reached base in 26 straight games and 30 of the 31 he's played to start the season. His .507 on-base percentage leads all Minor Leaguers.
In a move that would make A's architect Billy Beane proud, Bradley has shown he cares about his ability to set the table from the top of Salem's lineup.
"[Hitting leadoff] means being able to work the count and take some pitches," he said. "I need to take some pitches to let my teammates see what the pitcher has and for myself as well when I come up again later in the game. After that, I'm trying to get on base."
Perhaps unlike Beane, Bradley -- who also leads the Carolina League in batting average (.389), runs scored (32) and walks (26) -- could care less about his numbers and more about what's posted on the old-fashioned scoreboard.
"As long as I'm getting on base, I'm giving my teammates an opportunity to knock me in and get some runs," he said when asked about his statistics.
Selected 40th overall in last year's Draft, Bradley came to the Red Sox organization after a roller-coaster career at the University of South Carolina. He led the national champion Gamecocks with a .368 batting average in 2010 and was named Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series that year. However, his average dipped to .247 last year, another banner campaign for South Carolina.
Bradley seems to be returning to his sophomore ways, a fact that has pleased the center fielder. But he knows that without proper focus, he could easily return to his hitting woes from a year ago.
"Everything's happening so fast," Bradley said. "But I have to keep being myself up there ... use the whole field, not try to do too much. Go the other way and go the other way with authority as well. I'm still confident that I know I can take a few pitches, too, and that I'm taking pitchers' pitches."
On a personal note, Bradley said that a move back to his home state, where he was named to the Virginia AAA All-State team after his senior year at Prince George High School, has provided a sense of comfort and confidence.
"It's great," he said. "My family is able to see most of my home games and it makes traveling for them a lot easier. Playing in front of my family makes things a lot easier. I just try to show them what I'm capable of out there."
Drake Britton allowed four hits and four walks over four scoreless innings. The Red Sox's No. 14 prospect has given up four earned runs over 16 innings in his last four starts to lower his ERA to 7.31.