Arizona Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley A Player To Watch Heading Into 2014

By Randy Holt
Archie Bradley
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season is all but over for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it’s possible that they could be looking at a pretty large shakeup, both on the coaching staff and on the field. There will also be at least one youngster poised to make an impact in the new season.

As rosters expanded in September, there was a question of whether or not the Diamondbacks would recall top pitching prospect Archie Bradley to get some big league experience down the stretch. There’s certainly an argument to be made in favor of it, but Kevin Towers elected to let him finish the season in the minors.

However, Towers has already come out and said that Bradley will be competing for a rotation spot with the Diamondbacks this winter and into next spring. This automatically makes him one of the most intriguing players for this club heading into the offseason.

Bradley represents one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A, Bradley pitched to a 1.84 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 152 innings on the year. His walk rate was a touch high, but he did manage to lower it from 2012.

Part of the reason that the Diamondbacks have kept Bradley in the minors all year is to work on his pitch selection. He has a dominant fastball, but that will only get you so far against Major League hitters. They’ve wanted him to work on his secondary pitches, which feature a curve and a changeup.

The fact that Towers has already come out and said that Bradley will compete for a rotation spot next season makes him an intriguing player to watch throughout the winter and into the spring. He has the stuff to be a big league starter now, it’s just a matter of managing the game on the mound. If he’s improved that aspect, it’ll be hard to keep a rotation spot away from him in 2014.

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