Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley started and got the win in the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game. He went two innings, allowing a hit and a walk while recording a strikeout. More importantly, Bradley continued to throw a slider, a pitch he has recently added into his repertoire along with his fastball, curve, and change-up, Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com reports.
Bradley, 22, struggled with Triple-A Reno to begin the 2014 season before succumbing to a flexor strain in his right elbow. After returning in late June with Double-A Mobile, Bradley posted a 4.12 ERA and struggled with his command, walking 36 batters in 54 2/3 innings. Along with the addition of the slider, Bradley has been working with Diamondbacks pitching coordinator Dan Carlson.
“We made some tweaks with staying back and getting my front foot down,” Bradley said. “I’ve just been throwing strikes since then. It’s still a work in progress, but I feel a lot more confident and a lot better with where I’m at.”
Bradley’s slider drew praise from teammate and catcher Peter O’Brien, who said, “It’s almost like he’s thrown it his whole life.” Bradley himself said, “I feel like it’s improving my fastball and my other pitches because I’m able to throw that and hitters haven’t seen it before.”
The right-hander was a consensus top-ten prospect entering the 2014 season. His injury and poor results will likely knock him down a couple of pegs when the next batch of rankings are handed out, but he still has plenty of promise.