There may have been just two games remaining in the regular season for most of the D-backs' minor-league affiliates going into Sunday's action, but one of Arizona's best prospects began his pro career yesterday. From the instant he was picked by the D-backs, prospect-following fans have been drooling at this enormous young man's potential, dreaming about what he might become. He didn't disappoint in giving us something to salivate about last night. Ladies and gents, I present to you the professional baseball debut of Archie Bradley:
Snakelet of the Day:
Archie Bradley (Advanced-Rookie): three batters faced, three strikeouts (two swinging strikeouts)
As Steven Tyler has said many, many times: Dream on.
Triple-A: Reno 3, Tucson 10. (76-67) The Aces received an unfortunately-typical outing from right-hander Kevin Mulvey, who posted a 4:3 K:BB ratio in 5.1 innings while allowing seven runs, six of which were earned. Mulvey had been strong through five innings, but the Padres notched eight runs in the sixth inning, including all seven of Mulvey's runs. Reno received doubles from Tony Abreu, Angel Berroa, Mark Hallberg, and Ryan Langerhans, but the Aces were out-hit 10-7. Langerhans was particularly good, going 2-2 with the aforementioned double and a pair of walks. Southpaw Tom Layne is slated to start tonight's regular-season finale.
Double-A: The BayBears were rained out in Huntsville, and will hopefully play a double-header to close out the regular season tomorrow, with Charles Brewer taking the mound in game one and Trevor Bauer on the bump for game two.
Hi-A: Visalia 1, Modesto 10. (62-77) The Rawhide were absolutely shut down by the Nuts' pitching, being held scoreless for eight innings before Matthew Davidson hit his 20th home run in the ninth inning, a solo shot, to break up the shutout. Unfortunately, Visalia needed another nine of those to tie things up, and fell juuust a bit short of that target. The early hole was created by starter Eric Smith, who capped off a forgettable season with the Rawhide with a forgettable outing. In just three innings of work, Smith gave up six hits and six walks while striking out just two, throwing a wild pitch, balking twice, and getting charged with six earned runs before departing. Smith is reportedly headed to the Arizona Fall League, so the organization has hope of turning him around, but his 103:85 K:BB ratio in 150.1 innings for the Rawhide this year screams a move to relief work. Lefty David Holmberg is slated to be on the rubber tonight for the Rawhide's final game this year.
Low-A: South Bend 5, Great Lakes 6. (66-72) Starter J.R. Bradley had a rough first inning, allowing six runs (five earned, with the sixth scoring a pair of RBOE) on two walks, a HBP, a single, and a grand slam. That was certainly not the inning Bradley wanted to have to begin his outing after putting together the best start of his career his last time out, but at least he was able to recover and put up zeros for the next 5.1 innings with no walks, no home runs, a strikeout, and just two more hits allowed. He finished his day with 6.1 IP, four hits, six runs (five earned), a 1:2 K:BB, a hit batter, a homer, and a 10:6 GO:AO ratio. Bradley's season ends with 27 starts, putting up a 4.98 ERA in 142.2 innings with 169 hits allowed, an 88:51 K:BB ratio, 1.42 GO/AO, and 16 home runs allowed. Certainly not good numbers, but not a disaster for someone who would be a Freshman in college.
The offense had a pretty good day by its standards, but couldn't quite claw back from the early deficit. Yazy Arbelo hit his 31st double of the year, but also wore a Golden Sombrero to cap off a 1-5 night. The big bat in the lineup on Sunday was actually Ramon Castillo, who has put up a massively underwhelming .200/.256/.364 line with the Silver Hawks this year after hitting .311/.377/.498 in 65 games with South Bend last year. Castillo showed his old form on Sunday, going 2-4 with a double and a two-run home run. South Bend also drew six walks - three from Roberto Rodriguez - and stole four bases without being caught, but were unable to drive them home, stranding six runners in scoring position.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 6, Billings 8. (40-32) Starter Taylor Siemens was solid through five innings, posting a 6:1 K:BB ratio but allowing five hits, a home run, and a pair of runs. The big story, though, was the debut of Bradley, who didn't fail to underwhelm. Honestly, putting a guy who sits 94-96 as a starter with a plus-plus hammer curveball in a one-inning relief stint against Rookie-level bats..... well, it wasn't fair the moment he threw the first warm-up toss. I'm really excited to see what the reports on Bradley's stuff from last night are - I'll try to see if there are any on the Twitter world within the next 24 hours or so. Missoula actually held a 6-2 lead in the middle of the seventh, but Keith Hessler, Frank Santana, and Seth Simmons proceeded to allow six runs over the next two innings to give up the game. Leading the way for the offense, Ryan Court homered in the first, while Fidel Pena doubled while going 3-3 with a walk.