Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley is hoping to pitch in the Diamondbacks organization in 2014, and is continuing the process back. He was rehabing at Salt River Fields on Thursday playing his second day of catch after being shut down for three weeks with a strained flexor mass in his throwing elbow, his follow up tests were clean and he hopes to return and pitch for Reno again. Before the injury he was really struggling, he is 1-4 with a 5.18, and for the best pitching prospect in the game, that is not good enough. Most in the organization hope that it is just the injury and noting else.
However, special assistant Dave Duncan, whose long time friend and partner Tony La Russa was hired by the organization, thinks its much more than the injury. In an interview with MLB Network Radio, Duncan had this to say about Bradley: “He still has a lot to do to be a legitimate guy to consider for the major-league rotation,” Duncan said. “He has decent control of his fastball. At times, he’s above average in velocity. At times, he’s average in velocity. So there’s no consistency there with his velocity. His breaking ball is very inconsistent, and he virtually has an unusable change-up.”
Now obviously Bradley respects Duncan. He has four world series rings, three from his tenure as one of the best pitching coaches of all time. Obviously Duncan knows what he is talking about but in an interview with azcentral sports Bradley can agree to disagree: “Pitchers he’s helped produce numbers and are All-Stars and everything,” Bradley said. “You just take it in stride. Obviously what he said has some meaning to it, but at the same time — agree to disagree. I think my pitches are good. Obviously, they need some work.”
What is strange about this story is what Duncan’s finds as Bradley’s biggest strength: his fastball command. Bradley who has walked 4.4 batters per nine innings at the Triple A level feels that is his biggest weakness.
I completly respect what Duncan is saying because he knows what he is talking about. There is a reason why they brought him in, to evaluate the Dbacks pitchers. However, Bradley also competed for the 5th starters spot this spring and he is still one of if not the best pitching prospect in the game. Most believe he is major league ready this year. I do think that his control is his biggest weakness and he should stay in the minors till he fixes that. This story is an interesting one to follow. It will be interesting to see how Archie does when he comes back.