Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the best defensive center fielders in MLB, and he made yet another play that showed off his elite instincts and arm strength on Thursday.
The Brewers' outfielder managed to fake the Pirates' baserunner, Jacob Stallings, into believing that Ben Gamel had hit a homer.
As Stallings desperately tried to scamper back to first base, Bradley threw an absolute laser to take him down and turn the unconventional double play.
That's some A-grade work from Bradley, as he didn't put his glove up to reach for the ball until the last second. That lulled Stallings into a false sense of security.
After the 7-2 Brewers win, Bradley explained exactly how he was able to make the play.
"In my head, I always envision doing deke plays — don't let that get out though — so that was like the perfect opportunity for me to be able do it," Bradley said. "Kinda act like it was gonna go off the wall or be a home run and just try to see if I can get a reaction out of [the runner]. And I was able to pull it off."
Bradley also managed to get the throw to first base in time to nab Stallings. While it was a bit off-line, it got the job done and was, in Bradley's estimation, the easier part of the play.
"I think it's selling the deke," Bradley said when asked if the fake-out or throw was more difficult. "You gotta almost remain calm, let it unfold and I was just trying to be as accurate as I could on the throw. I didn't put everything on it. I just tried to get it there in the air and it was close enough."
If Bradley took something off that throw, then it's fun to imagine exactly how far and fast he could launch one at full strength.
Either way, that will be one of the best double plays in MLB this season, bar none. And it's no surprise that the Gold Glove-winning Bradley was the one to make it.