Bradley Pitches A Gem
Diamondbacks top prospect Archie Bradley just keeps getting better. After starting out the year as a consensus top 30 prospect, Bradley’s stellar performance elevated him to a top 10, if not top 5 prospect. None of the hype seems to get to Bradley, as he has continued his dominance through-out the whole season. In his latest start, Bradley threw his first career nine inning complete game, allowing just one unearned run on the night, while striking out 7. Bradley had this to say on his outing:
“I was throwing curveball, fastball, changeup and I had really good command of everything tonight,” the Oklahoma native said. “My catcher, Rossmel Perez, did a great job behind the plate tonight.”
“I threw the ball well, but even behind me some of the defensive plays allowed my pitch count to stay down, to keep runners off base, double plays, the whole game in general, the run support, everything was real fun tonight for the team.”
Bradley scattered six hits in the outing, and only walked one. The start brought his stats to date to a sparkling 1.88 ERA over 124.2 IP across Double A and Single A. Bradley still hasn’t perfected his control, as he has allowed 54 walks, but he has improved greatly from his 2012 campaign, in which he walked 84 over 136 innings. On the topic of a late season call-up, the D’Backs skipper had this to say:
“He’s throwing the ball good,” Gibson said of Bradley. “I think probably it’s possible by the end of the year that we might see him up here, get him introduced a little bit. Maybe September-ish.”
If Bradley keeps pitching like he has all season, he may force the Diamondbacks hand if they need pitching help in a September playoff race. The call up of Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig seemed to revitalize the Dodgers, as they are now in first place. The Diamondbacks may be looking to return the favor come September, and a call-up of their top prospect would be a very attractive option.
Pair of Marlins Pitching Prospects Shine
With the recent call-up of Marlins outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, the rest of the Marlins system hasn’t been getting as much attention as it might under different circumstances. Even with Yelich and Marisnick in the MLB, the Marlins still have multiple top level prospects in the minors. Two of these players are pitching prospects Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino. Heaney, the Marlins 1st round selection in the 2012 draft, has been absolutely phenomenal thus far, posting a 0.88 ERA in Single A Jupiter, with a 66/16 K/BB ration over 61.2 innings. Heaney was recently called up to the Double A Southern League, and did not disappoint. Heaney threw 6 innings of shut out ball in his debut, surrendering only 3 hits and ringing up three batters. It only took 79 pitches for Heaney to get through 6 innings, showing great efficiency. Heaney had this to say about his start:
“I felt good. I had some adrenaline going and was anxious to get out there,” Heaney said. “My fastball was good tonight and whenever I needed to go to a second pitch the changeup was there.”
Fellow southpaw Justin Nicolino has also had a very impressive season so far, and has followed the same route as Heaney. He started out in Single A Jupiter, and after putting up a 2.23 ERA in just under 100 innings, was promoted to Double A Jacksonville. Nicolino had a rough start in Double A, which isn’t unexpected, as many prospects have a tough time breaking into the higher minor league levels, but he looks to be settled in after his recent outing. Nicolino, who came over in the blockbuster between the Jays and Marlins this off-season, went six innings, while striking out six and allowing just one run on four hits. He didn’t walk any on the outing. As the game was shortened to six innings on account of rain, Nicolino received the complete game designation for his start. He threw 54 of his 76 pitches for strikes, showing off the command that is integral to his success. Both of these pitchers should continue to move up the minor league ranks, and figure to make their debuts sometime next season, but nothing is set in stone with the Marlins.