There are a myriad of reasons why many consider Archie Bradley the top pitching prospect in all of MLB. Bradley made his first spring training start for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night, and he didn’t disappoint, turning in three solid shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies. He struck out six batters, walked two and yielded only one hit.
Bradley’s highly anticipated first inning of work in Sedona Red lived up to expectations. He only needed to throw six pitches to strike out the first two batters he faced, Drew Stubbs and Michael Cuddyer. He then finished off the first inning on his seventh pitch, retiring Carlos Gonzalez on a ground out to second base.
In the second inning, Bradley showcased his ability to pitch his way out of a jam. With two runners on and no outs, Bradley faced Nolan Arenado to notch strikeout number four and then Kyle Parker grounded out. Bradley then encountered some control problems, walking D.J. LeMahieu to load the bases. However, Bradley regrouped nicely, fanning Rockies pitcher Christian Friedrich to end the inning, stranding all three base runners. He then worked his third inning with ease, striking out two more batters and forcing one more ground out. After the game, Bradley told MLB.com that he was beyond pleased with his work on the mound.
“I had a lot of fun out there,” Bradley said. “It was fun to finally face someone without a Diamondbacks jersey on. It felt really good to be on this side, in big league camp. Obviously, you couldn’t ask for a better debut. I got the adrenaline going, I got to compete and it felt good.”
Despite the fact that Bradley is only 21 years old, it would be hard for the Diamondbacks to deny him a spot in the starting rotation if he continues to perform at this elite level in his remaining Spring Training starts. The team can’t afford the same substandard pitching it endured last season, a season in which Patrick Corbin was the only starter to finish with a winning record. Bradley has already started to make his case that he’s ready to join a big league starting rotation, and if he can keep getting the job done, that’s indeed where he belongs.