High School Sports

Bobby Bradley jumps up in latest MLB prospect rankings

Former Harrison Central slugger Bobby Bradley continues to demand attention from MLB talent evaluators.
Former Harrison Central slugger Bobby Bradley continues to demand attention from MLB talent evaluators. Lake County Captains

South Mississippi’s top MLB prospect continues to catch the attention of talent evaluators.

Former Harrison Central slugger and LSU signee Bobby Bradley made another jump in MLBPipeline.com’s midseason rankings, going from No. 93 overall to No. 82.

The 20-year-old Cleveland Indians prospect continues to be one of baseball’s top power prospects. Heading into Thursday night, the Lynchburg Hillcats first baseman boasts a High-A Carolina League-best 19 homers, 77 RBIs and 62 walks. He also owns a .257 average with a .379 on-base percentage and .870 OPS.

According to MLBPipeline.com’s evaluation: “Bradley has all the ingredients needed to be an impact hitter, with plus bat speed, huge power and feel for using the entire field at a young age. He has continued to strike out at an alarming rate this year after fanning a Midwest League-worst 148 times in 2015. Though, overall, Bradley's approach has been more consistent, and he's already established a new career high in walk. But until he eliminates some of the swing-and-miss from his game, scouts likely will remain skeptical of his ability to make consistent contact at higher levels. Bradley faces an uphill battle due to his profile as first-base-only prospect, but his combination of power and hitting ability is plenty good enough to overcome those odds.”

This year has been one to remember for Bradley, who was a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star and participated in the league’s home run derby — off the USS Midway in San Diego. Prior to the start of the season, Bradley hosted a youth hitting clinic.

MLBPipeline.com’s rankings also rate Bradley as Cleveland’s fourth-best prospect and MiLB’s fifth-best first baseman. With MLB’s trade deadline around the corner and the Indians hoping make a post-season push, could Bradley be in play to return a big piece, or is he Cleveland’s first baseman of the future? Time will tell.

Other Coast players in minor leagues

RHP Jonathan Holder (Gulfport): Holder was recently promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. Holder has appeared in two games since his July 21 promotion, boasting a 2.25 ERA and one save. In four innings, Holder has struck out five without issuing a walk. In 28 Double-A appearances this season, Holder was 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 10 saves. Opponents hit just .188 off him as he racked up 59 strikeouts in 41 innings.

LHP Jacob Lindgren (St. Stanislaus): Former SSC and Mississippi State southpaw Jacob Lindgren was shut down in late April with elbow soreness and has not pitched since. He made his MLB debut in 2015. (MLBPipeline.com’s Yankees rank: 19)

LF Mason Robbins (George County): Mason Robbins has been tearing the cover off of the ball for High-A Winston-Salem. The Chicago White Sox prospect is currently leading the Carolina League with his .320 batting average and 118 hits. He also boasts 24 doubles, five triples, five homers and 45 RBIs. In his last 10 games, Robbins is hitting .419.

LF Walker Robbins (George County): Walker Robbins has had a slow start to his professional career. After signing with the St. Louis Cardinals for an above-slot value of $450,000, the fifth rounder was moved to the outfield and assigned to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, where he’s hitting .197 with a .246 on-base percentage. In 16 games, the former Rebel and Mississippi State signee has 12 hits, six runs scored, one double, five RBIs, 13 strikeouts, three walks and three stolen bases. (MLBPipeline.com’s Cardinals rank: 27)

LHP Justin Steele (George County): Former Rebel Justin Steele is back with Class-A South Bend after being assigned to extended spring training for the month of June. The 21-year-old Chicago Cubs prospect has made four starts in July, allowing seven earned runs in 13 2/3 innings. He has also struck out 15 against seven walks during the same stretch and is 3-5 with a 5.85 ERA overall this season. (MLBPipeline.com’s Cubs rank: 25)

Brewers Top 30

Current and former Biloxi Shuckers litter the Milwaukee Brewers updated Top 30 list. Former Shucker standouts include shortstop Orlando Arcia (1), left-hander Josh Hader (3) and outfielder Michael Reed (24). Current Shuckers include outfielder Brett Phillips (5), right-hander Jorge Lopez (11), catcher Jacob Nottingham (12), right-hander Brandon Woodruff (22) and outfielder Tyrone Taylor (23).

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs