by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of WKRN.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender.
In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
Name- Enrique Bradfield Jr.
Pos-OF B-L T-L
HT/WT- 6’1” 170 lbs.
Home – Pembroke Pines, FL
Enrique Bradfield Jr. is considered one of the fastest prospects coming out in 2023 and could be a future game changer in the Major Leagues.
Bradfield attended American Heritage High School in Hialeah, FL. He was named a pre-season All-American candidate in 2019 and a pre-season All-American player in 2020 by Perfect Game.
Bradfield went undrafted in MLB draft and enrolled at Vanderbilt and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2021. He hit .336 with 47 stolen bases in 53 tries. In his 60 hits, only 13 went for extra bases.
Bradfield added some power his sophomore year, hitting 8 home runs (only had 1 as a freshman) and was named a consensus All-American, hitting .317 and stealing 46 bases without being caught.
During his junior campaign, he struggled, only hitting .279 but added 6 home runs and 37 stolen bases. He still finished his Vanderbilt career with more walks (131) than strikeouts (122) and set a Commodores record for stolen bases with 130.
Bradfield Jr. is exactly the kind of hitter you want to see from a player with elite speed. He has a low strikeout rate, hits the ball on the ground more times than not, and does an excellent job of spraying the ball to all fields. He is reminiscent of a prototypical 1980’s type leadoff hitter, hitting around .280 and stealing 50-60 bases. Bradfield Jr. is the best defensive center fielder coming out in the draft, with his skillset screaming for potential Gold Glove awards.
In the past two seasons, he’s seen a drop in his batting average as he has tried hitting for more power. However, his future major league team will cast him as a leadoff player, asking him to hit for average and less for the fences. His arm is below average, which may be the only negative part of his defensive metrics.
With the new rule changes, Bradfield could average 50-60 steals a year while hitting single digit homers. For Draft 412, Vince Coleman is the comparison that comes to mind.
Enrique Bradfield Jr. will be a weapon in the Major Leagues who teams will not like playing against. He will be the quintessential leadoff hitter who will set the table for power hitters later in the lineup. He’s not as far away from the pro game as other collegiate hitters either and may be one of the first in this class to reach the Bigs.
Round 1 #10 on Draft 412’s big board.