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Jackie Bradley Jr. made walk-drawing history in opener

Apr 2, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

Jackie Bradley Jr. went hitless in his Red Sox debut yesterday, but the 22-year-old outfielder drew three walks in five plate appearances against the Yankees to become the first player with three or more walks in his MLB debut since 2000.

And since 1950 only seven players have drawn three or more walks in their first MLB game:

Jackie Bradley Jr.    2013
Danny Ardoin          2000
Danny Klassen         1998
Jorge Piedre          1991
Larry Walker          1989
Joe Lahoud            1968
Dick Donovan          1950

I’d have guessed that most of the players who were capable of drawing three or more walks in their MLB debut were pretty damn good hitters, but it turns out not so much. Larry Walker was a stud and Joe Lahoud had some decent years, but Danny Ardoin, Danny Klassen, Jorge Piedre barely had MLB careers and Dick Donovan was a pitcher.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com’s must-have “Play Index” for the ability to look stuff like this up.

  1. pjmitch - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Can someone explain to me why MLB radio and TV are continually talking about this guy? He seems to be a nice player but you would think he was the Harper or Trout of this year the way the hosts go on about him. Is there some back story that I am missing?

    • js20011041 - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Well, I think he’s going to be a very good player. He’s not on the career path that Trout or Harper are on, but he still should be very good. Excellent defense, good hitter, good on base skills. I think the fact that both Trout and Harper came up last year at such a young age and both played so well has distorted our collective perception of just how difficult it is for a young player to make that jump to the big leagues. But that shouldn’t stop us from praising Bradley if he does continue to play as well as he has looked since he entered pro ball.

    • pdowdy83 - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      Because he plays in Boston. If he played outside of a major market the buzz would be about as significant as the Marlins keeping Jose Fernandez on their roster or Aaron Hicks being the Twins CFer.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      It’s a combination of playing in Boston, and also completely obliterating expectations….

      He has 271 ABs in AA.

      And now he’s starting for a team in a big market.

      I am absolutely not making a comparison between the two players, but do you remember what a huge deal Albert Pujols was? He came out of nowhere with even less minor league experience than Bradley to make the Cards roster out of spring training.

  2. El Bravo - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    I suppose this stat reflects moreso on the kind of day the pitcher in question had, rather than the skill of the batter in question. Perhaps the pitchers just couldn’t find the plate in each of these sporatic occurances.

    • pdowdy83 - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      I saw his first at bat against Sabathia. It was quite impressive. He was down 0-2 and then laid off several very close pitches that a lot of people with his experience level would have swung at. I can’t say anything about his other 2 walks though.

  3. ghstmnnfrst - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Flavour of the week.

    Dad used to play.

    Boston.

    Prospect.

    Boston.

    ESPN.

    Coastal Bias.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      His dad is a bus driver.

      Do you just assume every athlete with “Jr.” in their name is a second generation player?

      • gerryb323 - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        When the legend becomes fact…

      • genericcommenter - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        I always thought baseball players were the only guys who named their sons after themselves. Who knew?

  4. jeffbbf - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    wasn’t there just a post about the rediculousness of obscure stats?

    • tuberippin - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Your spelling of ridiculous is “rediculous” and deserves redress and perhaps ridicule.

      Also, walks are definitely not an obscure statistic. That’s about as base as it gets (no pun intended).

      • jeffbbf - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        meh – no spell check here, and in a hurry, I missed a letter. don’t make me have to spell the word douche, ok? anyway, no – walks are not an obscure stat, but when a basic stat is put under isolation to this degree, it is obscure, and fairly ridiculous. Or maybe you are the kind of fan that laps up the silly stats given by the national broadcasts such as “holding left-handed batters to a .222 batting average while pitching out of the stretch with less than 2 outs”

      • tuberippin - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        First of all, in saying “don’t make me have to spell douche”, you made yourself spell douche.

        And it’s really not that obscure to go “oh, this guy is in his MLB debut and drew three walks. I wonder how many times that has been done before?” and then cross-reference the information.

        It’s essentially the same as when a player hits a home run in his first major league at-bat and then there’s a list shown of the MLB players to hit a home run in their first major league AB.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    I’m pretty sure Rick Sutcliffe was touching himself while he was continously gushing about how great this guy’s walks were yesterday.

  6. steel6curtain - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    very impressive outing. his first PA against CC was stellar. starting down 0-2 fought off some tough pitches and laid off balls just outside of the zone that most players would swing at. then his speed helped save an out by beating tag at second which ultimately lead to him scoring in the sox 4 run 2nd inning. made a tough catch in the outfield that would have started a yankee rally. his two other walks were just as impressive, fouling off pitches going deep in the count. but unfortunately todays young casual fans do not understand the value of OBP. since he didnt go 3-4 with a homerun a double and 4 RBIs he must not have had a productive day right? false! hell of a first day JBJ!

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