Monday night’s Rockies-Diamondbacks game was much more than your typical early Cactus League scrimmage between two National League West teams.
All eyes were glued on the young kid taking the ball for the first time in a Sedona Red uniform.
Archie Bradley added another chapter to his fast-track to the big leagues tossing three scoreless innings in the 5-0 Arizona victory to earn his first win. The former first-round pick struck out six in three scoreless innings.
“It’s nice to get out there and face someone in a different jersey,” he explained to the assembled media afterwards. “Got myself into trouble in the second inning but I think the positive thing is I was able to work out of it. Me and [Henry] Blanco worked well together that inning. It was good to get through that and pitch through it my first outing.”
Bradley’s successful debut caught the attention of many, including Diamondbacks analyst Tom Candiotti, a 151-game MLB winner during his 16-year career.
“Everyone’s eyes were on Archie,” Candiotti told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I liked the way he was throwing strikes. He got into some trouble…worked his way out of it. The one thing he has that a lot of guys don’t have and a lot of the great pitchers have is the ability to be able to bear down…he’s got that explosive fastball that even some of the good hitters can’t catch up with right now.”
Manager Kirk Gibson and the Dbacks front office have hinted Bradley won’t crack the Opening Day rotation, being the odd-man-out after inking free-agent Bronson Arroyo last month but many believe Bradley’s real big league debut will happen sooner than later. Candiotti was asked who the 21-year-old first-round pick in the 2011 draft reminds him of.
“When you look at some of the pitchers with his kind of stuff,” Candiotti explained. “The first guy that comes to mind for me, in my era, was a guy like Roger Clemens. Very explosive fastball…he pitches down and has good command. I think Archie can be a similar type. Now, is he going to have those kind of numbers that Roger had? That’s tough when you’re talking about a guy winning 300 games but he’s got that kind of explosive stuff.”
It’s easy to see why the Diamondbacks and every other team in baseball believes the skies the limit for the clean-cut kid from Muskogee, Oklahoma.