PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Jackie Bradley Jr. left his home state to pursue his college baseball career. But as he awaits his professional future, there's no place he'd rather be than home.
Bradley has been back at Prince George since he helped lead the South Carolina Gamecocks to their second straight College World Series championship. Bradley works out with his high school coach Donald Brittingham on the field where he suited up for the Royals. The outfielder has been working hard and preparing for what's next. Right now, he's just not sure exactly what that is.
Bradley was drafted 40th overall by the Boston Red Sox, but he has one year of eligibility remaining at South Carolina. The Red Sox have not contacted him yet to work out a deal, and Bradley is not expecting them to until closer to the August 15th deadline.
So while he waits for Boston to call, he has prepared to return to South Carolina. He has enrolled in classes for the fall semester, and says that he'd love to finish his degree in Columbia.
But he also admits that he'd love to play for a storied organization like the Red Sox. Without hearing from them, all he can do is wait.
And work. Bradley says this may be the first summer he's ever had off. But he's putting time in to improve his foot work and get faster. He's also constantly working at improving his cardio.
Bradley has had an incredible two year run at South Carolina. Two years ago he hit .368, and earned College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Last year he missed almost half the season with a wrist injury, but returned just in time to help eliminate UVA and claim the school's second straight title - USC's only national championships outside of equestrian.
He knows a tough decision awaits him, quite like the one that brought him away from his home state to play college baseball. But for right now, Bradley has no problems waiting to make it.