What better way to start out the New Year than to write about one of the top prpospects in all of baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks are so high on pitcher Archie Bradley that they are not including him in trade talks with David Price or any other pitcher for that matter. One of the big questions entering Spring Training is will the D’backs break camp with the righty as part of the starting rotation?
The 6-foot 4, 225 pound Bradley was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow, OK, three slots behind HS teammate Dylan Bundy and four behind Trevor Bauer. After being drafted, Bradley pitched in two games at low level Missoula before spending all of 2012 at Middle Class A South Bend, striking out 152 batters in 136 innings. He then started 2013 at High Class A Visalia before being promoted to Double A Mobile. In 26 Minor League starts last year, Bradley used his 95 MPH fastball to go 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA. He threw 152 innings, allowing only 115 hits while walking 69 and fanning 162. In addition to his heater, Bradley throws a sharpe curve and is trying to perfect a changeup, which would give him three above-average Major League pitches.
Before the season, mlb.com had Bradley’s expected arrival to the Majors at 2015. With his dominant season, that timetable has been pushed up. With no Triple A experience, I would be hard-pressed to believe that he will spend all of 2014 in the starting rotation. Arizona has five starting pitchers ready to go now so he would have to be almost perfect in order to crack the rotation. I can see Bradley starting out at Reno with a callup in say, June when one of those starters gets injured or is ineffective. In fact, if the D’backs make a playoff run, it is not hard to imagine Bradley being a setup guy out of the bullpen. As long as he doesn’t catch whatever Trevor Bauer had, Archie Bradley will be a fixture at Chase Field for a long time.