Bradley's new approach yields homer

Outfielder aims to be more aggressive earlier in count

Bradley's new approach yields homer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Jackie Bradley Jr. jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Kyle McPherson and curled it down the right-field line for a home run in Friday's 7-2 win over the Rays, it was the signal of an approach you'll see more often from the center fielder this season.

Though Bradley takes pride in being a disciplined hitter, he acknowledges that being too picky has led to too many strikeouts.

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Bradley has 221 strikeouts in 700 career at-bats.

The way Bradley sees it, being more aggressive earlier in the count is the best way to remedy this.

"Absolutely," Bradley said. "That way it kind of gives me more opportunities to put the ball in play. That's my main goal, to make more solid contact. Hopefully that turns into swinging at good pitches I can handle, and hopefully hit. Strike out less."

In his torrid stretch last August, Bradley displayed some power, but he isn't going to start swinging for the fences.

"It was instinctual," Bradley said of Friday's homer. "I definitely wasn't looking for the pitch there. I was just trying to put a good swing on it and make solid contact."

With his new approach, Bradley still thinks he's capable of having a solid on-base percentage.

"I know the strike zone. I want to be more aggressive in the strike zone," Bradley said. "That way if I happen to miss early I can at least get more opportunities later in the at-bat instead of taking pitches down the middle."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.