'Ducks' Bradley goes yard twice to end drought

Indians No. 4 prospect swats grand slam, plates season-high five

Bobby Bradley has driven at least five runs in a game seven times in four Minor League seasons. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | June 10, 2017 9:41 PM ET

Double-A Akron hitting coach Johnny Narron has a list of things he looks for when Bobby Bradley steps to the plate. 

"Is Bobby on time? Is he swinging at strikes and is he getting a good swing off and hitting the ball hard?" Narron said. "I know that we're in an industry that is results-oriented, but that's really how I look at it."

His pupil was checking all the boxes on Saturday.

The Indians' No. 4 prospect swatted a pair of homers -- including a grand slam -- and drove in a season-high five runs in the RubberDucks' 7-5 win over New Hampshire at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Gameday box score

Narron could tell from Bradley's first at-bat that the Akron first baseman was going to have a strong game, even after he flied out leading off the second inning.

"He hit a ball deep to left-center field … he got under that ball just a little bit, but it carried all the way out to the fence and it was probably 380, 390 [feet] in the air," Narron said. "I felt confident he was already in a good position tonight."

The prediction came true in the third. With one out and the bases loaded, Bradley hammered a 2-0 pitch from starter and Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Sean Reid-Foley over the fence in right-center field for the sixth grand slam of his Minor League career.

Video: Akron's Bradley belts grand slam

The Gulfport, Mississippi, native lined out to center field in the fifth before he led off the seventh by connecting on a 1-1 pitch from Dusty Isaacs for another long blast over the wall in right field. It was the fifth two-homer game of Bradley's Minor League career and first with Akron.  

"In his third at-bat, he hit a line drive to center field. It went down as an out, but I saw all the things I wanted to see from him," Narron said. "So, he had three good at-bats going into his fourth at-bat and then he hit that home run. Overall, I feel he was in a good place with his timing, his swing sequence was good and he hit the ball well in all four of his at-bats."

Before Saturday, Bradley had hit one home run in his last 19 games. MLB.com's No. 83 overall prospect owned a .235/.338/.419 slash line in his first 52 games, which he raised to .239/.340/.451. The five RBIs -- three shy of his career high set on Aug. 16, 2014 in the Rookie-level Arizona League -- ties him with Yu-Cheng Chang for the RubberDucks' lead with 34.

Video: Bradley goes deep again for Akron

No matter the numbers, Narron said Bradley has impressed with his poised demeanor and solid work ethic.

"Bobby is just turning 21 years old and I've been very pleased with Bobby's approach from the very beginning," he said. "He got off to a slow start, but he came in every day with a great attitude and had a smile on his face. Bobby understands that maturing as a hitter is a progression every single day and every week and every month.

"When Bobby is on his game, we call it 'Bobby's World.' He's in a good place. I think he's going to be a very good big league baseball player."

MiLB include

Eric Haase also went yard, while second-ranked Cleveland prospect Francisco Mejia was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk for Akron.

RubberDucks starter Matt Whitehouse (2-3) gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk over six innings.

Reid-Foley (3-4) allowed six runs on five hits and three walks while fanning two in three innings.  

Danny Jansen, Tim Lopes and Matt Dean all went deep for New Hampshire.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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