With two picks in the top top seven overall draft slots in the 2011 Amateur Draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks had a chance to add a pair of big-time prospects into an already burgeoning system.
With their first pick, the third overall, the Diamondbacks selected highly-touted college righty, Trevor Bauer. Bauer immediately became a top pitching prospect in all of baseball and a potential ace. The results from his short stent in the bigs this year aside, he is still highly regarded.
In fact, he was so highly regarded that he has somewhat overshadowed his first-round draft mate the D-backs selected with the seventh-overall pick, Archie Bradley.
Bradley was a high-school pitcher with plus velocity on his fastball and a, depends on which scout is being asked, a plus curveball to just an above average curve. But most scouts agree that Bradley’s ace-type upside depends on how well he does in developing a change up.
If he can get the change up to become an even average major league pitch, he should be a top-of-the-rotation starter. If not, he may be a back-end starter or relegated to the bullpen. Though, pretty much all projections have him reaching the bigs at one point or another.
In 2011, as an 18-year old, Bradley only threw two innings at Rookie-League Missoula. He struck out four in two innings pitched.
But in 2012, he pitched exclusively with Low-A South Bend. He started 27 games and tossed 136 innings but struggled given his stuff. He had a 3.84 ERA and a 1.257 WHIP. He did strike out 152 batters but walked 84.
A lack of command is pretty common with pitchers straight out of high school but it’s obviously something he will have to work on as he progresses through the farm system.
Bradley will most likely begin 2013 in High-A Visalia, where the first signs of Bradley being able to cut down on the walks should appear. As of now, a reasonable projection for Bradley would be a call up to the majors in 2014.