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Archie Bradley: MLB Rookies, Prospects & Call-Ups Analysis


Credit: MiLB.com/Ken Weisenberger

 

Can Someone Please Call Me Up Already?

Credit: MiLB.com/Ken WeisenbergerI’m going to paint you a picture: imagine you are the top pitching prospect of the 2014 season. Your team is at the bottom of their division and in desperate need of a momentum shifter. So why in all holy hell have you not debuted this season yet? That’s exactly what future ace Archie Bradley has been screaming from Mobile, Alabama all the way to Arizona and the Diamondbacks.

Many owners, including myself, added him early on in the year, stashing him away on their NA spot, or patiently awaiting his debut knowing his upside. Yet here we are, post All-Star Break, and while the D-backs are currently 13.5 games back in the NL West and 14 games under .500, the front office has yet to promote him. Regardless of the utter stupidity shown in Arizona (it must be the heat,) I’m going to still analyze Bradley as if he will be promoted at some point this season.

 

Making the Case for this Top MLB Prospect

Before diving into statistics and sabermetrics, it’s easy to see why the Diamondbacks need Archie Bradley in their lineup. After losing Bronson Arroyo and Patrick Corbin for the season along with trading away Brandon McCarthy, they have serious depth issues in the rotation. Their Starting Pitcher ERA of 4.55 is 27th in all of baseball and 2nd worst in the NL, with the same going for opponents’ batting average at .279. They also have giving up the 2nd most HR in all of baseball at 77. With an overall SP record of 30-43, it’s pretty obvious they need help in the rotation. After trading away McCarthy, Arizona won’t be dealing for any studs, so they clearly need to look down to Bradley in the minor leagues.

Now for the fun stuff. An excerpt from his MLB.com scouting report says:

“Bradley throws his fastball in the mid 90s, and he can reach the upper 90s when he needs to. The steep downhill angle he throws from and the good sinking action on the pitch combine to produce a lot of ground balls. Bradley complements his plus fastball with an above-average 12-to-6 curveball, and a changeup that will likely be at least a Major League-average offering.”

 

Archie Bradley's Season Outlook

Since his return from an injury earlier in the year, Bradley has been tearing it up in the minor leagues. In 5 starts, he has a 1-0 record with a 1.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 19 Ks in 25.1 IP. If the WHIP seems high, it’s because it is. Despite being great, he has had control issues, giving up 14 walks to the tune of a 1.36 K/BB rate, a number that was higher during his struggling times in AAA.

If you are wondering why he is in AA Mobile and not AAA Reno, simply put, nobody pitches well in the Pacific Coast League. So the D-Backs brass feels he can progress better in AA, which is not a knock on his performance level. In fact, it is being said that he will likely, when eventually promoted to the majors, jump over AAA and go straight from AA to Arizona.

Simply put, it’s helping nobody that Bradley is not with the Diamondbacks already. The team is not going to be contending this season, that’s pretty obvious. With the D-Backs looking to 2015 and beyond, I’m always in favor of teams like this bringing up prospects to get their feet wet in the majors. Besides, as fantasy owners, we would much rather add Bradley over Chase Anderson or Vidal Nuno.