Archie Bradley Impressive in AFL Fall Stars Game
By Joseph Jacquez
Archie Bradley looked better in the AFL Fall Stars Game. Photo Courtesy of The Arizona Republic
There is probably no other pitching prospect in the Arizona Fall League that has more to prove than Arizona Diamondbacks top prospect Archie Bradley. After an injury riddled 2014 season, pitching in the AFL has been all about rediscovering his stuff instead of his win-loss record, or his ERA.
Bradley says he is finally starting to find himself as a starter again. This is what he told the Arizona Republic after the annual AFL Fall Stars Game:
“I’m starting to hit a groove now, Hopefully, I can finish strong and roll that into spring training.”
Bradley pitched two innings of scoreless baseball, allowing a hit, and a walk, while striking out one. He was the winning pitcher in the East team’s 6-2 victory over the West Saturday night at Salt River Fields.
Plenty of scouts were on hand at Salt River Fields to watch Bradley, and what they saw was rejuvenated velocity, and solid stuff. He was hitting 96 consistently with his fastball to go along with his nasty curveball, a change-up, and a recently debuted slider.
Bradley had the chance to win a job in the Diamondbacks starting rotation last spring training, but after struggling at the end, the Dbacks sent him to the minors. He struggled to throw strikes, and stay healthy.
If he can finish the Fall League season strong, he will have the chance to compete for a spot on the Dbacks roster come February.
The brightest sign for Bradley is that his velocity is back where it should be. His curveball also had a good break, and his change-up had a lot of late life.
Even his new slider looked good. This is what Bradley told MLB.com about his new pitch:
“We started to put the slider into use and it’s been really good for me,” Bradley said. “Hopefully, I can keep building off of it. I got a couple of swings and misses, a strikeout on it. It keeps guys off my fastball, and I mixed the changeup in there, which is improving as well. I feel like I’m slowly starting to put things together.”
If he can add that as a solid weapon, he will have four effective pitches, and he will be a better pitcher for it.
After watching his performance, Diamondbacks fans defiantly should feel better about where Bradley is at in his development.
Bradley wasn’t the only Dbacks prospect participating in the annual All-Star Game. 3B Brandon Drury went 0-2 with two strikeouts, and C Peter O’Brien went 0-2.
Stay with VenomStrikes for updates on the final stretch of the Arizona Fall League season!