BLUF: All ingredients are there to develop into an elite pitcher with front of the rotation ceiling.
The Player: Archie Bradley (RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks) – The Diamondbacks used their second first round pick (seventh overall) in 2011 to pick Bradley. Signed late and only made two appearances in the rookie-level Pioneer League, but Bradley blew scouts away in the Fall Instructional League last year. Has logged 81.2 innings across 17 starts in the Midwest League in 2012, allowing just 46 hits and striking out 79 while walking 57.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (MWL 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-4, 225): Exceptional pitcher’s frame. Long, lean and strong. Tons of natural strength and room to add more through physical maturation and a pro workout routine. Very athletic and coordinated. Uses frame to his advantage. Excellent present body with projection remaining. True big league body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Very simple and clean delivery. Athleticism allows him to repeat things well. Arm works with the rest of his delivery. Stays in line to the plate consistently. Uses his lower half well, reducing some stress on his arm. Excellent mechanics overall.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 99, Low – 92, Average – 93-95, Grade – 60/70
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 99, Low 92, Average 93-94, Grade – 60/70
Fastball (FB) Movement: Shows some movement at times, flashing ability to sink the ball and run it on occasion. Tons of natural life and true power FB with some “hop” to it. Great angle to the plate. Overall difficult to square due to a variety of factors. Will learn to cut and sink it more consistently with additional experience and polish. Grade – 60/70
Overall Fastball: Might be light with future 70 velo grades. Has potential for overall elite FB with tons of velo, movement and angle to the plate. Easy plus-plus projection with potential to be among the best raw FBs in the game. Grade – 60/70
Curveball (CB): Present above-average pitch. Really tight over-hand spin. Has good feel for the pitch. Will flash at plus-plus level with exceptional 12-6 break. God bite with sharp action and bat-missing potential. Really impressed with pitch quality and scouts have already noted progress since signing. Convinced it’s plus-plus down the line. Grade – 60/70
Change-up (CH): Only been throwing with any regularity for 12-16 months. Shows occasional feel for the pitch. Arm speed is good, giving potential for plus deception down the line. Shows occasional sink and fade with enough potential to be reliable third pitch. Present well below-average but chance to be average. Grade – 30/50
Control: Very streaky. Will pound strikes at times and completely lose the zone at others. Arm gets too quick at times, causing him to lose timing with the rest of his body. Athleticism and clean delivery lend to plus control projection. Should throw strikes with all three pitches at peak. Grade – 40/60
Command: Well below-average to poor right now though will locate FB in zone for an inning here or there. Similar to control, athleticism and simple/clean delivery give projection for at least average command down the line. Grade – 30/50
Summation: Potential special talent. Shows regular flashes of plus-plus FB and could have elite FB with physical maturity and more game experience. CB also has plus-plus potential with more consistency and ability to move pitch around zone and locate out of zone. CH needs to progress but has shown early feel for pitch. Excellent competitor with plus mound presence. Really good body with more physical projection in the tank. Everything you want in a starting pitching prospect. Potential elite level starter with front of the rotation ceiling.
Relative Risk: High. Even with these basic ingredients, there’s a lot that can go wrong between A-ball and the big leagues.
Future: Has had some brilliant stretches interrupted by rough patches in 2012. Will likely move to High-A in 2013 and could see Double-A before mid-season if developmental progress is rapid. Still at least two full years from the big leagues but could be impact pitch sometime in 2015.