Jackie Bradley Jr.’s wife Erin is expecting the couple’s first child in June, so Mother’s Day has a new significance.

Yet Bradley is in New York this day while Erin remained in New England.

“She is well taken care of,” Bradley assured during an interview last week at Fenway Park.

Bradley always sounds so confident. He plays center field that way, gliding under fly balls with seemingly no effort, or sprinting after balls no outfielder should reach – and then reaching them.

At the plate, though, Bradley used to look uncomfortable, flailing at balls out of the zone for strike three. But he still sounded confident, never going into detail about his struggles, shrugging at the problem as if it was an inconvenience that would soon go away.

Now that Bradley is hitting, he is still nonchalant.

“I just want to keep it going in the right direction,” he said.

Boston’s offense is going right, leading the American League in average (.285), OPS (.800) and runs (149).

Bradley, who entered the season with a career .213 average in the majors, is batting .276. He ranks fourth on the team in on-base percentage plus slugging average (OPS), at. 813, trailing the likes of David Ortiz, Travis Shaw and Dustin Pedroia.

“Getting good pitches to hit and squaring them up,” Bradley said.

Just like we thought he always would.

Well, we thought that four years ago.

Remember when Bradley graced the outfield of Hadlock Field in 2012? Words like “gifted” and “sure thing” were tossed about. Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles called him “a Ferrari.”

We became enamored with Bradley’s constant search for improvement, including the way he aggressively shagged balls during batting practice, treating it like a game.

Before becoming pro, he found ways to improve; like during one summer on his American Legion team, Bradley purposely took two called strikes to get comfortable with batting behind in the count.

But that last trait may have caused problem for Bradley later on. He liked to work counts and was praised for it – in his first major league at-bat, in the 2013 season opener at Yankee Stadium, Bradley worked a key full-count walk against CC Sabathia.

But Bradley still needed development. And falling behind major league pitchers is not a good idea.

In what became an oft-repeated sight, Bradley would strike out on a pitch out of the zone.

Bradley batted .189 in 37 games that year with a .617 OPS. Handed the starting job in 2014, Bradley still faltered (.198/.531).

Bradley spent most of the first half of 2015 with Pawtucket as Mookie Betts took over in center field. When Betts suffered a concussion, Bradley was called up again on July 29. It didn’t look like he would stay long. On Aug. 5, he was batting .102.

Then it clicked.

Bradley went on a tear over the next 25 games, batting .446 with a 1.441 OPS (13 doubles, four triples and seven home runs).

“He was swinging the bat as well as he is now,” Farrell said.

Now Bradley is getting on base often. His home run in Saturday’s 8-2 loss extended his career-long hit streak to 13 games.

Bradley’s approach is different.

Witness one at-bat last Sunday at Fenway against the Yankees: The first pitch was an 88 mph slider. The once-patient Bradley watched the ball stay up in the zone and attacked. Bradley bounced a grounder into left field, beating the Yankees’ shift with a single.

“The biggest thing is he’s getting his pitch early in the count and he’s not missing it,” Farrell said. “When he’s seeing a pitch in the middle of the strike zone, he’s not laid off to work the count. He’s been aggressive in the right spots.

“He’s driving the baseball with consistency.”

Yet Bradley usually remains ninth in the lineup, a spot which may be to his advantage. With leadoff hitter Betts coming up, pitchers don’t want Bradley on base, especially with a walk.

“The presence of Mookie behind him may give the opposition some game-planning to attack Jackie (with strikes),” Farrell said. “As a result he’s getting good pitches to hit, and he’s doing a very good job with them.”

The other plus for Bradley is that while defenses employ shifts on him, Bradley has “used the whole field,” Farrell said.

The left-handed hitting Bradley used to appear pull-happy but he often goes the other way – including his single to left last Sunday, or his home run to left-center in Chicago this week.

So maybe Bradley has arrived as an all-around major leaguer.

“Just keep with what’s working,” he said.

And keep making sure Erin is taken care of. That arrival due next month is more significant than any hitting streak.

THE PIPELINE from the Boston Red Sox organization to the Chicago Cubs has flowed freely since General Manager Theo Epstein bolted Fenway Park for Wrigley Field after the 2011 season. Over the last two weeks, outfielder Ryan Kalish and catcher Tim Federowicz (both former Sea Dogs) were added to the Cubs’ major league roster. They joined former Sea Dogs Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo, not to mention former Red Sox free-agent signings John Lackey and David Ross.

The Cubs’ Triple-A roster includes former Boston minor leaguers Stephen Fife (Sea Dogs, 2010-11) and Matt Murton, and major league outfielder Shane Victorino. The Double-A Cubs roster includes infielder Ryan Dent (2011-14).