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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-12, Archie Bradley

Will 2017 finally be his year?

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 12: Archie Bradley

  • Date of birth: August 10, 1992
  • Ht/Wt: 6’4”, 225 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: 26 games, 141.2 IP, 5.02 ERA. 143:67 K:BB
  • SnakePit Rating: 5.93

Though nothing has been announced officially of yet, it seems increasingly likely that Archie Bradley is going to be the odd man out in terms of a rotation spot, and will start the year in Reno. This isn’t necessarily a season-long sentence, any more than it was when he began the 2016 season there - only Robbie Ray ended up starting more games on the Diamondbacks last year than Bradley. So, the odds are greatly in favor of him getting his chance again at some point this season. But for someone who was a unanimous top 10 prospect in all baseball before the 2014 season, it has apparently been a struggle to turn that potential into major-league success.

Over 34 MLB starts, Bradley’s ERA is 5.18. However, his career FIP is almost a run lower, at 4.27, and that improved significantly last year, dropping to 4.10, as he struck out more than a batter per inning. Indeed, his peripherals merit comparison with another young pitcher. Let’s play the Pitcher A/B game, with two lines from the 2016 season produced by 23-year-old arms.
Pitcher A: 141.2 IP, 154 H, 16 HR, 67 BB, 143 SO, 4.10 FIP
Pitcher B: 134.1 IP, 129 H, 27 HR, 37 BB, 119 SO, 4.99 FIP
A, you will perhaps have guessed, is Archie. But B is actually Taijuan Walker, just three days younger than Bradley, and the centerpiece in a trade which cost Arizona our MVP from last season, Jean Segura. While Archie appears Reno bound, Walker will likely be the #2 starter for the D-backs.

Bradley’s fate is in his own hands. When the opportunity comes, as it likely will in 2017, he needs to seize it with both hands and deliver the kind of consistent performances which will make it impossible to remove him from the rotation. With Walker positioned ahead of him, that may be a little harder than 2016. But Archie has the ability to do it. Whether he can or not, however, remains to be seen.

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