After the jump, a quick look at the
newest newerest member of the D-backs, with more to come later. UPDATE: With Chafin and Bauer down, time to crank out this Bradley write-up, then a minor-league report, then off to surf the intarwebz for Day Two buzz. I love MLB Draft season. :-)
Archie Bradley, RHP
School: Broken Arrow HS (Oklahoma)
Ht/Wt: 6'3"/215 - As Mark Grace would say, "a tall drink of water"
Age: 18 years old
Keith Law's Top-100 Rank: 5
BA's Top-200 Rank: 9
Going into the Spring, Bradley was the unchallenged top prep arm in the draft class. Although he would concede that distinction to fellow Oklahoma high school right-hander and #4 overall pick Dylan Bundy as the season dragged on, that's no knock against Bradley, and Bradley's performance was certainly not the reason why he slipped. Bradley shined in front of scouts and against hapless high school hitters, ending the year as a near-unanimous top-10 prospect in this year's draft. He's a two-sport star who is committed to play quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, but indications are that he's going to sign, and Bradley himself has stated that he wants to play baseball. That two-sport thing could actually work to Arizona's advantage, as it'll allow the D-backs to spread his signing bonus out over five years.
On the mound, Bradley throws a blazing 92-95 mph fastball that has reached 98 mph in the past, and compliments that offering with a cruel hammer curveball that ESPN's Keith Law called "the best in the draft." Yes, better than the "plus-plus" rated offering that Trevor Bauer throws. To be fair, I'm going across two different sources there, with BA calling Bauer's curve plus-plus and Law calling Bradley's curve the best in the '11 draft, but it gives you an idea of just how good Bradley's hook is, which is particularly surprising for a high school arm. He has a big frame with the potential for extra projectability, and reports of a nice delivery, which shows in the videos. Though, to be honest, if he gains a bit more feel for a change-up, it's hard to see how Bradley even needs much more velocity projection to be a stud in the big-leagues.
Here's some more video with a different angle on Bradley's delivery:
Broken Arrow High School RHP Archie Bradley 2010 AFLAC All-American Classic (via rkyosh007)
Assuming the D-backs are able to sign Bradley, he'll jump into the final spot of the top-5 prospects in the Arizona system, creating a top-5 of Jarrod Parker, Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Paul Goldschmidt, and Bradley that can compete with the top-5 of any system in baseball, and giving the D-backs one of the top collections of elite pitching with the four arms in that group.