Enrique Bradfield is one of the most electrifying players in college baseball. The speedy Vanderbilt outfielder has gained national attention for his elite speed and dynamic ability to steal bases easily.
Bradfield, a junior, is a threat to steal anytime he gets on base. He went 93-for-99 on stolen base attempts, including 46-for-46 last season, in his first two years at Vanderbilt. He even stole home with Vanderbilt down a run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Indiana State last season.
Bradfield’s blazing speed grabs evaluators’ attention anytime he plays. He also is a quality top-of-the-order hitter and profiles in center field long term. Bradfield’s proven track record, skill set and potential make him a desirable prospect in anticipation of the 2023 MLB draft. Scouts project Bradfield as a potential top-10 pick.
Despite his prospect status, Bradfield remains focused on his development and Vanderbilt’s success this season.
“It’s easy to focus on the team and not the draft,” Bradfield said. “The team is more important than anything that is happening to me. It’s easy for me to turn my attention and focus on the guys around me. It’s a great group of guys that I enjoy being around.”
Bradfield is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound center fielder with a thrilling toolset. The left-handed hitter is a top-of-the-order bat that gets on base at a high clip. He has a keen eye at the plate, recording more walks than strikeouts in his first two years at Vanderbilt, and makes consistent hard contact. He is more of a gap-to-gap hitter than a power hitter.
Last season, Bradfield flashed some power potential, hitting eight home runs. It was seven more home runs than he hit as a freshman in 2021. The power surge didn’t surprise Bradfield, however. He added strength to his frame leading up to his sophomore season, and the work translated to success at the plate, he said.
“My ability to be a table setter on offense is my biggest strength,” Bradfield said. “There aren’t many people who value a leadoff hitter in the game. I feel I bring that aspect to start a lineup, get on and create havoc.”
Defensively, Bradfield is an above-average player in center field. He is a steady defender who covers plenty of ground due to his dynamic speed. He has respectable arm strength and profiles as a center fielder in pro ball.
“My arm strength has improved this fall, and I am going to definitely key in on that,” Bradfield said. “I just want to be the best me I can be. I’m going to stay consistent in my work, stay focused, and be a better teammate as the season progresses.”
Bradfield has provided a spark atop Vanderbilt’s lineup since his freshman season. He tallied 18 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs, 74 RBIs and 93 stolen bases in 487 at-bats in his first two years at Vanderbilt.
Bradfield will once again serve as Vanderbilt’s offensive catalyst. The speedy outfielder isn’t focused on his performance, however. Instead, he keeps a team-first mindset and has high expectations for the team this spring.
Vanderbilt posted a 39-23 record and made its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance last season. The Commodores failed to advance out of the NCAA regional last season, snapping a four-year stretch that consisted of them at least making it to the super regional.
Expectations are always high for the Commodores, one of the premier programs in college baseball. They won the national title in 2019 and finished as the runner-up in 2021. This spring, Bradfield hopes they can capture the program’s third national title at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
“We need to get to know our identity and be a collective unit,” Bradfield said. “I want to be playing in Omaha at the end of June for a national championship.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.