If there is one thing Arizona Diamondbacks fans can take away from spring training it is this: the future is pretty bright. In addition to the already known players such as Goldschmidt, Montero or Prado, fans have been treated to fine play from prospects such as Chris Owings, Jake Lamb and Archie Bradley.
Of those names, none has been more exciting than top pitching prospect Archie Bradley. After breezing through Arizona’s minor league system last season with a combined record of 14-5 with an ERA of 1.84 and 162 strikeouts to 69 pitches in 152 innings of work, Bradley entered the 2014 spring training as one of the organizations most intriguing prospects. As a matter of fact, Bradley enters this season as the top right-handed pitching prospect on many boards.
Through two starts, the former Oklahoma pitcher has fit the billing. In six and one-third innings, Bradley has given up only three hits and has struck out nine while walking four. Even more notable, he has done this against big league hitters, striking out Albert Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez and defending NL batting crown holder Michael Cuddyer. That bodes well for Bradley and gauging his success going forward.
Another thing that impresses me about Bradley is his graceful handling of his situation. Every interview I’ve seen with him has highlighted what a great character is. Even considering his great talent, he has always emphasized that the process comes first in his route to the big leagues. Part of that is listening to the advice that the veterans and coaches have to offer.
Maybe it’s just because of how former top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer was clamored out of town for doing the complete opposite, but Bradley’s level-headedness will help make his career that much more successful. By listening to what the veterans have to say, Bradley has demonstrated that he knows the team is there to help him, and that he is willing to work to get where he wants to be.
All of this combined with his passing of the eye test (listed at an imposing six-foot-four, 225 pounds), Bradley seems destined for not just making the big leagues in 2014, but excelling once he gets here.
D-backs fans, this guy is the real deal.