Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
Prev. Drafted: Never drafted
Birthdate: June 12, 1990
SCOUTING PROFILE: The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bradley never truly asserted himself as a legitimate high-end prospect for the 2011 draft, or was even on the radar of many clubs, until last summer at the Cape Cod League all-star game. He worked in only one inning, but many of the close to 100 scouts in attendance thought he had the best arm in the contest. Not only did Bradley exhibit a very easy, fluid arm action with sound mechanics, but he was the only pitcher with above-average stuff who commanded everything in his arsenal. His fastball was a steady 93-94 mph, and he complemented it with a solid curve and change. Bradley subsequently went on to lead the Cape League in strikeouts, with 44 in 41 innings, while walking just six. His strikeout total held up as the league’s best, even as he departed the Cape with two weeks remaining in the regular season. Prior to his all-star moment, Bradley had achieved relatively modest success in his career, and had pitched largely in obscurity. He went undrafted out an Alabama high school in 2008, and went just 2-3, 6.65 as a freshman at Georgia Tech, though struck out 49 in 44 innings. He moved into a starting role for the Yellow Jackets as a sophomore, but his 9-5, 4.83 record, along with 99 strikeouts in 91 innings, hardly measured up to the 9-4, 2.96 record and team-leading 118 strikeout total authored by righthander Deck McGuire, who went on to become the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft. Even this year, with all the notoriety he has received since last summer’s breakthrough moment on the Cape, he has been overshadowed in the Georgia Tech rotation again by righthander Mark Pope, who has gone a tidy 10-2, 1.27 though his first 12 starts. Pope has been the Friday starter for Tech and Bradley the Saturday guy, and he has gone an impressive 6-2, 2.63 with 24 walks and a team-high 83 strikeouts in his first 75 innings. Make no mistake, though, those coaches and scouts who have watched Bradley closely over the last two years, particularly early in his career at Georgia Tech, knew he was always a hidden gem whose time to shine would come. That will undoubtedly happen in June, when he is expected to be one of the top 3-4 picks in the draft, possibly even the first college lefthander selected. It was evident two summers ago, when Bradley pitched in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League that he was something special. He made only three starts in the league before a nagging oblique strain forced him to return home, but at least one scout who tracked the league believed the tall, broad-shouldered southpaw would have been the league’s top prospect if he had been healthy all summer. His record (0-1, 5.54 in 17 IP) was marred by a seven-run outburst in one inning in his last start. Bradley has only refined his raw stuff since, and worked with a 91-94 mph fastball, 81-84 curve and low-80s changeup in most of his outings this spring. His smooth delivery and refined mechanics, along with his ability to command all his pitches has finally set him apart from other college arms and he will be duly rewarded for his quiet rise up the prospect ranks in this year’s draft.
Projected Draft Position: Early first round
Perfect Game Events Attended
2007 World Wood Bat Association 16-and-under National Championship