RHP Archie Bradley showed the Diamondbacks organization all they wanted to see in five starts at hiA Visalia, and on Wednesday the club moved the 2011 #7 overall draft pick up to AA Mobile. Thursday night, Bradley took the mound for the Bay Bears and kept the momentum going with a 6-inning, rain shortened complete game victory. With the success he has had at the lower levels of minor league ball, the pitching-rich Diamondbacks are well on their way to developing a front-of-the-rotation starter in Bradley.
After adjusting to a full season schedule in 2012, a big change from the high school schedule Bradley was used to in Broken Arrow, OK, the Diamondbacks sent the power pitcher to Visalia, the advanced “A” affiliate in the California League. The hitter-friendly league did nothing to slow Bradley down as he posted a 2-0 record with impressive stats: 1.26 ERA, 28 2/3 IP with 10 BB, 43 K’s and 22 hits allowed.
Control was one thing that Bradley needed to work on going into 2013 and his BB/9 average of 3.14 was a marked improvement over last season’s 5.5 BB/9 rate at loA South Bend. The showstopper for anyone who saw Bradley pitch for Visalia was his fastball, which touches 96 MPH with movement. One look at that and you could see this guy has next-level talent.
So up to AA he went this week and on Thursday, with the Bay Bears and the Huntsville Stars dealing with rain, Bradley went 6 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits with 2 BB and 7 K’s to earn the win in a 3-1 Mobile victory. The Stars got to see the same pitcher that California League batters saw over five starts and they didn’t have any better luck.
Archie Bradley is currently #24 on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list and #25 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list. At his current pace, he will rise up those charts as fast as he is moving up through the minor leagues.