Bradley's first outing a learning experience
Prospect shakes nerves in Cactus League debut
PHOENIX -- Anticipation. First-round Draft pick Jed Bradley had more of his share of it Saturday as he waited until the late innings to make his Cactus League debut.
His appearance had been pushed back a bit due to a groin issue early in camp, but if anything, the extra build-up may have served to tire the butterflies taking flight when the 21-year-old left-hander took the mound.
"I could have lived with some different results, but it was great to get in there and finally take the training wheels off," Bradley said Sunday. "I had some butterflies going. I thought I was going to be a little more anxious, but when I got out there, it wasn't too bad at all. I was happy with it, walking off the mound healthy and having something to build on."
In an inning on the hill, Bradley, MLB.com's No. 2 ranked Brewers prospect, struck out two while yielding two runs on three hits and a walk. It was a chance to get his feet wet in the Cactus League before Minor League camp opens up, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was happy with what he saw from the 15th-overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Bradley's fastball is his bread and butter, and he mostly stuck to fastballs and sliders Saturday as he continues to fine-tune his changeup and curveball early in the spring.
Roenicke hopes to get Bradley another appearance before the first round of cuts come with the opening of the Minor League camp on March 16. The chance for a touted newcomer like Bradley to get comfortable in the big league atmosphere can be invaluable as his development continues.
"It's been awesome," the southpaw said of his first Spring Training. "It's been unbelievable. We come in here every day and get to be around these guys who know so much about the game. It's a special thing.
"I talk to the older guys as much as I can about anything. They know so much. I talk to [pitcher] Randy Wolf a lot about the way he goes about his business and his philosophy on things.
Bradley made his professional debut last year with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 1-0 record with a 6.48 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances. He pitched 8 1/3 innings, gave up nine hits, seven runs (six earned), four walks and a pair of homers while striking out eight.
He'll be heading to Minor League camp soon, but beyond that, his destination is unknown.
"I'll know when we break camp," Bradley said of his first stop as he works to prepare himself for his first professional season. "Wherever I start, I'm just going to do the best I can there."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.