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Braden Shipley, Archie Bradley named Top 100 Prospects by MLB Pipeline

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Archie Bradley was one of two prospects in the Diamondbacks farm system to be named a Top 100 Prospect by MLB Pipeline.
Archie Bradley was one of two prospects in the Diamondbacks farm system to be named a Top 100 Prospect by MLB Pipeline.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks offseason constituting making "Win Now" moves with the acquisitions of RHP Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. However, they do have some potential prospects for the rotation that aren't too far behind them. MLB Pipeline released their list of Top 100 prospects. The two prospects that made the list were RHP Braden Shipley and RHP Archie Bradley.

Shipley was ranked 67th on the list, just completing a relatively successful season in Mobile. I have Shipley ranked as the top prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system due to his close proximity to the majors and his likely floor of being an MLB starter. Shipley commands a fastball, curveball, and change-up very well and could be knocking on the door for a rotation spot in the near future. Shipley had a rough month of May where his mechanics got out of whack and his numbers suffered badly. Shipley rebounded very nicely in the second half with a 2.66 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a 68/19 strikeout to walk ratio in 84 innings. He'll likely face his toughest test in 2016 in Reno, which isn't a completely foreign environment for him since he pitched there for the University of Nevada before getting drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2013. My guess is he'll make his debut some time in 2016.

Bradley wasn't too far behind at 72. Bradley started the 2015 season in the MLB rotation, making four good starts thanks to some good BABIP luck that hid a terrible walk rate. After taking a line drive to the face and the Diamondbacks mismanaging the injury, Bradley came back and was hit very hard. The Diamondbacks wound up putting him on the DL to rest his arm then later optioned him to the minor leagues. Bradley had two very good starts in Reno to cap his season, but the club elected to not promote him to finish the season. Bradley's main issues are a result of a difficult to repeat windup creating inconsistent command, something that he's worked hard on this offseason. Bradley's windup now has been altered to more of a half-windup to try to create a more repeatable delivery and hopefully more success in the future. Bradley is on the outside looking in for a rotation spot this Spring, but could wind up on the roster with another strong Spring.

The Diamondbacks have made moves to bolster their 2016 rotation, but the development of both Bradley and Shipley will go a long way in determining the team's future beyond the 2016-2018 window the team has with all their core position players entering their prime. Outside of those two, the Diamondbacks system as a whole lacks All-Star type talent with the team recently trading three of their last 5 first or Competitive Balance A picks in the past calendar year in addition to forfeiting the 13th pick to sign Greinke, but that's beating a dead horse and nothing can be done about it. We'll likely see both Bradley and Shipley on the team at some point in 2016 and hopefully pitching at a solid level.