WAREHAM ---- For most pitchers, 99 strikeouts in a season would be enough to lead his team. For Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech), he was 19 Ks shy of the Yellow Jackets’ best last spring (teammate Deck McGuire fanned 118). But the tall lefty is humbly leaving his mark on Cape Cod this summer.
“You face the best hitters in the country every start,” Bradley said. “If you play the best, you’re going to get better just by facing better competition.”
After 37 innings, the Huntsville, Ala. native has notched 41 Ks and is dominating the league. He said that he does not look for strikeouts when facing opponents, but he definitely does not mind them.
“Most times I’m not trying to strike people out, but they’re just a plus when they happen,” he said. “It’s the icing on the cake.”
The 6-3 Bradley did not have immediate success this summer. In his first appearance on June 19th, the Orleans Firebirds roughed him up for five runs (three earned), although he picked up eight strikeouts in the 7-2 loss.
“His first outing wasn’t that good, but he’s made strides and he throws the ball well,” Wareham field manager Cooper Farris said.
Bradley regrouped and refocused on the routine that led to a 9-5 record with Georgia Tech. And the serious, focused approach paid off. He rebounded to throw a complete-game, allowing six hits, one run and one walk, while fanning 11 en route to a 6-1 win over Hyannis.
In addition to the strikeouts, he has also thrown the most innings for the Gatemen, averaging nearly eight per appearance. He has twice gone nine.
Not loud or boisterous, Bradley leads by example.
“He’s a guy that just comes every day ready to do his job and get the work done,” Farris said. “He’s just a good teammate.”
Though Bradley may not be the loudest voice at Spillane Field, his actions are deafening. His 1.95 ERA is tops amongst pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings. He is also tied with Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt) for most wins on the team with two.
His understated ability to leave batters in the Cape League’s dust is sure to help him accomplish his goal for the summer.
“I just would like more people to know who I am than (did) when I got here,” he said.