JBJ's power becoming important weapon

JBJ's power becoming important weapon

BALTIMORE -- Mookie Betts isn't the only Red Sox outfielder to have an impressive uptick in power this season. Don't forget about Jackie Bradley Jr., who smoked his 20th home run -- a two-run rocket -- in Wednesday's 8-1 win over the Orioles.

"Twenty home runs. That's the most I've ever had at any level, and what's better than to do it at the top level," said Bradley.

In 700 career at-bats prior to this season, Bradley had 14 homers.

This season, he has 20 home runs in 415 at-bats.

Bradley's power stroke only adds to a team that already includes Betts (28 homers), David Ortiz (27), Hanley Ramirez (16), Xander Bogaerts (14), Travis Shaw (14) and Dustin Pedroia (12).

Bradley's power has built through his time as a professional, and perhaps it was overshadowed by his stellar defense. He hit nine in his first full pro season of 2012, followed by 13 (Majors and Minors) in '13. But in '14, the worst hitting season of Bradley's life, he managed just two homers over a combined 450 at-bats between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket.

"It's just great to see what Jackie is now as a player when you take into account all that he went through in that first year-plus," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Last year, Bradley rebuilt himself first in the Minors, hitting nine in 282 at-bats with the PawSox, and then 10 down the stretch for the Red Sox.

Bradley Jr.'s two-run double

The long ball Bradley ripped on Wednesday with his mother watching from the stands was a laser, traveling 412 feet to straightaway center.

"I mean, normally that ball isn't hit like that. It was low and away. It might not even have been a strike. I just put a good swing on it," said Bradley. "I just try to attack the baseball, hit it hard. I don't try to put any, I guess, trajectory on it. I just try to square it up and let it do what it wants."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.