June 7, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
Jed Bradley won’t have to start from zero in researching his potential future employer. Drafted in the first round Monday by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 15th overall pick, he already knows a thing or two.
“I know it’s in Wisconsin, and they like cheese,” the junior left-handed pitcher said. “I have only been there once before and I was about five years old.”
Bradley was the first Georgia Tech baseball player selected Monday, and that surprised nobody, really, as he has for some time been projected as the Yellow Jacket most likely to be drafted first.
Beyond the fact that he’s big, at roughly 6-feet-4 and 220 pounds, left-handed, and works like a madman, the Brewers clearly like the way he has evolved in the past three seasons at Tech.
Almost completely unheralded coming out of high school three years ago, he is tireless in the way he works out and in the way he tries to improve as a pitcher. Tech pitching coach Tom Kinkelaar has done some fine work with Bradley.
“He has a big fastball, he’s got a pretty good slider and a plus changeup,” Bruce Seid, the Brewers’ director of amateur scouting, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
“He pitches to both sides of the plate, pitches up and down, can throw the fastball by you and he’s able with his [ball movement] in the zone to get some ground balls.”
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin told the Journal-Sentinel, “He’s got some similarities to Andy Pettite if you look at them physically. I just leave it up to the player. The player will determine how quickly he gets to the big leagues.”
Bradley was 7-3 as a junior, with an ERA of 3.49 and 106 strikeouts in 98 innings. In his career at Tech he was 18-11 with a 4.62 ERA.
Only one left-hander was drafted before Bradley, and that was ACC Pitcher of the Year Danny Hultzen of Virginia, who went No. 2 overall.
Whether Bradley can make like Teddy Higuera and become an excellent home-grown lefty in the Brewers’ organization, remains to be seen.
He’s not saying what it will take to get him to sign rather than return for his senior season. His advisor(s) has suggested that he not speak with media as his comments here were relayed to the Tech Sports information department.
If he goes pro, he’ll lean on what got him this far.
“Hard-work and determination,” he said when asked what that has been. “I have always prided myself in working hard. When I was young I told myself that when I set a goal, I am going to stick with it. I think that has really helped me get to where I am at today.”