Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Diamondbacks list
The Top Ten
1. Archie Bradley
Height/Weight: 6’4” 225 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, Broken Arrow HS (Broken Arrow, OK)
Previous Ranking: #2 (Org), #31 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: 1.97 ERA (123.1 IP, 93 H, 119 K, 59 BB) at Double-A Mobile, 1.26 ERA (28.2 IP, 22 H, 43 K, 10 BB) at High-A Visalia
The Tools: 7 FB; 7 potential CB; 6+ potential CH
What Happened in 2013: The former seventh overall pick in 2011 took a big developmental step forward in his second full season, pitching his way to Double-A and showing more refinement without sacrificing the intensity of his raw stuff.
Strengths: Big, strong frame; fantastic arm speed/strength; fastball is plus-plus monster; routinely works 93-97; touches higher; late arm-side burst; misses bats and barrels; hard knuckle curveball is second plus-plus offering; big velocity and vertical depth; big time hammer; changeup can show plus; action with improving deception from fastball; aggressive competitor with 80-grade work ethic.
Weaknesses: Athletic but can lose his delivery; struggles to stay over the ball and finish his pitches; deception with the high leg and arm swing, but can struggle with balance and pace on the secondary offerings; command is below average at present; could limit full utility of arsenal; can start curveball too high in the zone; changeup needs more developmental time.
Overall Future Potential: 7; no. 1 starter
Realistic Role: High 6; no. 2 starter
Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; 21 Double-A starts on resume.
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Bradley has the makings of a special fantasy pitcher, with his workhorse build and three future plus pitches. There will be lots of strikeouts—potential for 220 in a season—and he should contribute a lot in ERA and wins as well. The only question mark is whether he’ll walk too many batters to be an impact WHIP guy. If he hovers above the 1.20 range, it will be tough for him to be an elite fantasy option, as the lowest WHIP recorded by a top-10 starter in 2013 was Jordan Zimmermann’s 1.09 mark.
The Year Ahead: Bradley is a true frontline power arm, with size, strength, and a highly intense arsenal that already features two well above-average offerings. The delivery can lack consistency and he struggles to finish his pitches, which can leave the ball up and arm side and cause his power curve to play too high in the zone. If the command continues to refine, a number one starter is a possible outcome; a true top-of-the-rotation starter capable of a heavy innings workload and gaudy strikeout totals. Even without sharp command, Bradley will find success in a major-league rotation, especially if the changeup lives up to its projection. Bradley is going to be one of the best young arms in baseball very soon.
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