Will Archie Bradley find himself in Arizona in 201?. Image: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The most talked-about prospect in the Minor League System of the Arizona Diamondbacks does not play at Triple A Reno. Right handed pitcher Archie Bradley, who began the season at Class A Visalia, currently is stationed at Double A Mobile where he has dominated Southern League hitters with a 9-5 record, a 2.00 ERA with 107 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched. Overall in 2013, Bradley is 11-5 with a 1.84 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings pitched. These gaudy numbers were good enough for him to be selected by USA Today as one of five finalists for the Minor League Player of the Year. The question is, will we see Bradley in Arizona before season’s end?
The D’backs have had bullpen issues all season long. The team is currently five games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second Wild Card spot. Conventional wisdom suggests Bradley can spend September in the bullpen. If he pitches anywhere close to his Minor League numbers, he just might be the best D’back reliever. Right now, he has thrown the exact same amount of innings this season as in 2012. It is reasonable to expect him to throw another 30 innings, which if promoted to the bullpen, can be spread out over a number of weeks. On the other hand, is it really wise to put a pitcher in the Major Leagues after he began that season in Single A ball? Also to consider is that Bradley has been wild at times; in his last start he pitched five no hit innings (four relievers finished the no-hit effort) but also walked five batters. Bradley has walked five or more hitters in four starts, two of those coming within the last month.
I think if the D’backs are within striking distance of a playoff spot come September 1st (five games or closer), Bradley will be with the big club. If not, my guess is he will be shut down once Mobile’s season is complete. Either way, I wouldn’t have a problem with whatever decision the organization makes.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow@Gradingthecurve on Twitter and and Like Grading On The Curve’s Facebook page to keep up with the latest prospect news, rumors, and opinion.